Hot Sams Detroit – 100 Years of Service

by Terry Watson | July 19th, 2021
Hot Sams Detroit

Hot Sams Detroit

In an era where it may be more convenient to purchase causal or formal menswear, a stand-alone clothing store has managed to remain at the top of its game for an astonishing 100 years. Today, Hot Sams Detroit Detroit is enjoying the rewards of perseverance and continues to deliver exceptional products and quality customer service.

The Hot Sams Detroit brand has always been synonymous with High Quality Detroit Style. The store has always been planted in downtown Detroit. The story began in 1921, when Sam Freedman, who was Jewish, opened the doors of Hot Sams Detroit to the public. In the beginning, they had a reputation for having the lowest prices in the city, leaving many to assume that their products were stolen or hot; this is where the name “Hot Sams Detroit” originated.

As time passed, the Freedman family was joined by current owners Tony Stovall and Cliff G. Green. Both started as salesmen in 1974 and rose to the rank of top salesmen. They both worked there until the opportunity to purchase the store presented itself in 1994, preserving the Hot Sams Detroit Legacy.

Hot Sams Detroit Detroit is exclusively a men’s clothing store. There is a tailor shop located on-site and available for both men and women. “We’re known for suits, but as of late, our clients have been those needing casual wear. I have seen an increase in the number of weddings, proms and special occasions, even in the midst of the Covid 19 pandemic. Unfortunately, there has been an increase in business due to funerals for the victims who succumb to the virus,” shares Lauren Stovall, the Business Lead and Legacy Preserver for Hot Sams Detroit. She is also the daughter of Tony Stovall.

As a response to the pandemic, Lauren has worked to increase the online presence for Hot Sams Detroit. Their website has been revamped and is more user-friendly. Eventually, the plan is for customers to be able to have an in-store experience online. This means that a client will be able to select fabric, choose the style of button, input their size and fittings, and still have their suit custom made in house.

In March 2021, the city of Detroit celebrated with Hot Sams Detroit Detroit on their centennial celebration. The mayor presented them with a key to the city, and the Detroit City Council recognized them with a Hot Sams Detroit Day. On July 10th, the store produced a Black Wall Street alongside the storefront in conjunction with vendors and community members.

Tony Stovall serves as the CEO of Hot Sams Detroit Detroit. His leadership and direction have paved the way for the company to survive several decades and remain relevant in the men’s fashion scene. A Detroit native, Tony shares he inherited his fortitude and business savviness from his father. “My father was strong and shaped me into being a strong black man. He taught me that my word is bond. If your word isn’t good, nobody will trust you,” he says. Tony took the lessons and instructions from his father and applied them to his business. By doing so he enjoyed success. After just one year while working with the Freedmans, he became top salesman. He then was promoted to Assistant Manager before rising to the ranks of a buyer. He was so successful that eventually, he received a percentage of the overall profits from the store.

One day, he decided to leave Hot Sams Detroit Detroit and open his own store. The owners got word of his decision and decided to make Tony the deal of a lifetime; they wanted him to buy the store.

Tony knew that he couldn’t do it all by himself, so he called on the help of now CFO, Clifford. Tony shares how impressed he was with Clifford. Before joining the sales team that existed of five to six people back then, Clifford had owned a tailoring business and obtained a degree in Business from the University of Detroit. He also was a good salesman, and forming a partnership with him made good sense to Tony.

Clifford was born in Alabama but moved to Detroit at the age of six. In high school, and took a tailoring class and learned to sew and make clothing. While in the 10th grade, he entered a co-op program and worked at a retail store after school. After high school, he attended The University of Detroit and graduated in 1974. He then got a job JL Hudson as a buyer, then became a department manager before leaving to start a tailoring business of his own with someone else. This venture lasted for a while before life guided him to Hot Sams Detroit. “I saw an advertisement for a salesman in the paper. It was interesting. He applied and got the job, and now many years later, I am still here,” he says.

To gain ownership of Hot Sams Detroit, in 1994, the duo obtained a business loan. In just a few years, they repaid their loan in full. Each brings something different and unique to the table, helping their company keep the wheels turning and doors open.

In 2004, they moved from 1317 Brush Street into their current location at 127 Monroe Avenue. While the amount of square footed has been reduced, the brand is still held intact. In 2015, they C]celebrated a Grand Reopening with the sponsorship of Bedrock Detroit to reveal new store renovations and a fresh product line, including a new line of suits called Power Collection.

Being involved in their community and giving back is very important for Hot Sams Detroit Detroit. In 1996, Hot Sams Detroit began hosting an annual black-tie in-store fundraiser for the Lou Rawls United Negro College Fund (UNCF). The event brought out the “whos who of Detroit,” and they raised $250,000 for the organization over a span of five years. In 1999, Hot Sams Detroit began working with the Detroit Public School system, participating in mentorship programs, career days, and Dress For Success initiatives.

Moving forward, both Tony and Clifford plan to keep doing things the same. Lauren’s excitement has brought new energy to Hot Sams Detroit Detroit, and things will only get better from here.
To learn more about Hot Sams Detroit Detroit, please visit their website.

Share
Both comments and pings are currently closed.