Formalwear shop owners say sales are picking up after a stagnant year due to pandemic

CHERRY HILL, New Jersey (WPVI) -- It's the busy season for formalwear shops like the popular Jan's Boutique in Cherry Hill. The owner said they're excited to get back to all the bling and sparkles after a stagnant year.

The boutique is seeing a resurgence in sales with more events taking place now that some restrictions have been reduced.

Store owner Paul Virilli said customers can now book appointments to try on gowns versus doing virtual appointments. He said sales are only down 10 percent from the same time previous years.

"It's not as iffy as you may think. People are doing weddings outdoors and the proms are happening outdoors as well," Virilli said. "Things will go on and the vaccines are hitting us."

Shoppers shared that they were excited for the special occasions even with following CDC guidelines. In the formalwear industry all sales are final. Virilli also said the good news is there's a big trickle-down effect.

"It's going to be good for the venues, the florists, anyone involved in our industry is going to see a trickle-down effect. Everyone is going to benefit," Virilli said.

Things are also looking up for Sew Pretty Bridal Studio in Collingswood. The owner Michelle Nnolum is also a seamstress and has her plate full sewing prom gowns and lots of mother-of-the-bride gowns. She said another promising sign is more brides are focused on having the perfect look from the dress down to all the accessories.

"I am seeing brides increasing their budget a little because they are having to cut back on the size of the amount of guests," Nnolum said.

The perfect day for many requires the perfect dress. Boutique owners say their industry is based on making people happy, and with restrictions easing a little bit, many are excited to see more smiles.
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