New Agreement Will Create An Estimated Over 50 Jobs And Boost Production By 20% In Its First Year; Contract is a Major Win For Rochester’s Economy

Schumer: Hickey Freeman Suiting Up For Long, Bright Future In Rochester 

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that over 50 new jobs are estimated to be added at Hickey Freeman’s Rochester factory to support a new tailored clothing line that will be produced for Trunk Club, a new consumer shopping model clothier. The agreement with Trunk Club, a Nordstrom-owned clothing service, marks Hickey Freeman’s largest such deal. Production is expected to create over 50 new jobs and boost production by 20% in its first year. 

“Today marks a major milestone for Hickey Freeman and the Rochester community. It’s clearer than ever that Hickey Freeman, Rochester’s 91 year old storied institution,‎ is suiting up for an even longer, and brighter future in Rochester,” said Senator Schumer. “If it wasn’t obvious before, securing their largest contract yet with Nordstrom's Trunk Club is a testament to the ‎Hickey Freeman workforce’s long record of excellence and Rochester’s reputation as a world-class manufacturing hub. I am committed to building on this announcement and fighting to keep Rochester’s economy firing on all cylinders.”

Schumer announced beginning this month the Rochester Hickey Freeman factory will now be the significant producer of tailored clothing, for Trunk Club, a new consumer shopping model clothier.  Additionally the factory owner, Grano Retail’s Luxury Men’s Apparel Group (LMAG), is upgrading the Rochester factory by installing over $1 million in new state-of-the-art production equipment and technology into the 91 year old factory to support the production of this new Trunk Club tailored clothing line.  Schumer explained this new work and this new investment has already enabled Hickey Freeman to hire 15 new employees this year and the company anticipates hiring approximately 50 more workers to support this production expansion.  Production of the new Trunk Club tailored clothing, including suits, jackets, and pants has just begun this month.   

Schumer said this is the largest deal yet for the factory since 2013, and is a testament to the commitment made when Grano Retail’s Luxury Men’s Apparel Group (LMAG) purchased the Hickey Freeman Tailored Clothing factory that the company would expand work and grow jobs in Rochester. Schumer praised Grano Retail’s LMAG for yet once again making good on its promise to invest in Hickey Freeman’s Rochester workforce and thanked and commended Truck Club for investing in made-in-the-USA and the skilled workforce here in Rochester.

Schumer has actively worked with Hickey Freeman’s owners, Grano Retail’s Luxury Men’s Apparel Group (LMAG), to grow the business in Rochester since they first purchased Hickey Freeman in 2013. Schumer has supported the owners’ plan to add work and grow jobs at the Rochester factory. Last year, Schumer joined Hickey Freeman CEO Stephen Granovsky to announce that Hickey Freeman would help produce Team USA’s blazers for the Olympic Opening Ceremony and shorts for the Closing Ceremony. In 2014, Schumer and Granovsky announced that Polo Ralph Lauren would move its manufacturing out of Italy and instead begin manufacturing its “Blue Label” tailored clothing line of suits and sport jackets at Hickey Freeman in Rochester, a major win for the Rochester economy. The agreement, along with a similar deal with Dillard’s department store to manufacture their line of suits and sport jackets helped boost production and jobs at the factory and today Hickey Freeman employs 431 Rochesterians.  In 2015, Schumer organized a meeting for Hickey Freeman with representatives from the Department of Labor and local workforce development agencies that enabled Hickey Freeman to secure a job training grant to hire and train new workers for skilled manufacturing jobs at the Rochester factory.

Even before Grano Retail’s LMAG acquired the company, Schumer spent years working to ensure that Hickey Freeman would thrive in Rochester. In August 2012, he worked with Hickey Freeman's then-parent company, HMX, and its then-lenders—Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase—to help secure new vital bridge financing that avoided liquidation. Schumer’s efforts at that time helped prevent the unplanned sale of HMX, which would have been a significant detriment to the American clothing manufacturer’s prestige and the Rochester workforce. Schumer also led the charge in 2009 when Hickey Freeman's then-parent corporation declared bankruptcy, which raised the potential for its lead creditor, Wells Fargo, to close the company and liquidate its assets. Schumer successfully urged Wells Fargo to keep credit flowing to Hickey Freeman’s parent company, Hartmarx, so the people employed by the company would not be at risk of losing their jobs.

Schumer also fought for Hickey Freeman, and other clothiers throughout New York State, in his effort to extend and strengthen the Wool Trust Fund program, which was passed in January 2014 as part of the farm bill. The extension and strengthening of this program put Hickey Freeman back on a level playing field with overseas suit competitors who, until recently, could import suits into the U.S. without ever having to pay the same wool duties as U.S. suit producers.  This created an uneven playing field that gave an unfair leg-up to foreign suit manufacturers while putting our own U.S. manufacturers like Hickey Freeman in the lurch. The program was created more than a decade ago to compensate the domestic suit industry for the competitive disadvantage that results from an unfair tariff inversion where the duty on the imported finished product is lower than the duty on the inputs used to make the product here at home. Hickey Freeman has saved millions of dollars over the past few years through the program.

Schumer was joined by Stephen Granovsky, CEO Luxury Men’s Apparel Group, and Joseph Harris, General Manager, Custom Trunk Club

"Senator Schumer has led the effort to create a positive environment for Made in USA factories like HF and his efforts are key to the kinds of investments we are making and the growth we are enjoying,”  said Stephen Granovsky, CEO Luxury Men’s Apparel Group. “When Trunk Club sought luxury tailored clothing that is designed and manufactured in the US it made sense to partner with HFTC and our legendary facility in Rochester. We invested significantly in technology, patterns and service levels necessary to accommodate Trunk Club's unique approach to custom clothing.”

“Both Trunk Club and HFTC have worked tirelessly for over a year to build out the capability for HFTC to satisfy the extensive requirements of bona-fide custom clothing and we're extremely excited to delight our members with this premium product,” said Joseph Harris, General Manager, Custom, Trunk Club.

Hickey Freeman has been producing menswear in Rochester since 1926. Each year Hickey Freeman produces over 100,000 units of clothing, each completed by hundreds of individual human processes. Hickey Freeman is a vital economic development anchor in Rochester’s northeast quadrant. The label has maintained its operations in Rochester since its founding, and maintains its “Made in USA” standard.  Jeremiah Hickey and Jacob Freeman began manufacturing men’s suits at the end of the 20th century, and today Hickey Freeman still specializes in making high-quality tailored garments.


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