It’s a new day for Fauzio’s.
The well-known Little Rock men’s clothing store is entering a “new age,” according to owner Moe Barakat. Since the store opened in 1999, Fauzio’s has been a destination for men in Central Arkansas to find the perfect dress clothing, whether they needed suits, shirts, shoes, ties, hats or accessories.
Barakat has always prided himself on the quality of his products and the price points. But he saw the need to expand his operations, going digital with an e-commerce platform. But while Fauzio’s is embracing e-commerce, Barakat said the fundamentals will be staying the same.
“We are transitioning into a new age, and my goal right now is to get our e-commerce up and running. As a business, though, my goal is to always provide the best price for the quality of suit you want and always provide the best customer satisfaction like we have been doing for more than two decades,” Barakat said.
That customer service is the key selling point for Barakat. Creating a singular store experience for each individual is critical to ensure that customers are comfortable inside Fauzio’s and keeping coming back for their dress clothes needs.
“I want my customers to always have a unique experience when it comes to customer service. I want them to feel comfortable and not pressured to buy anything like other stores,” he said. “If you want to come browse around, by all means come on by. We don’t want you feeling like you have to buy anything. If you do, great. If not, we still love you.”
In a fraught retail landscape, Barakat aims to come out on top. He comes from a long line of clothiers, with his family’s history in the industry stretching back to the 19thcentury. Since taking over the business after his father retired six years ago, Barakat has worked to ensure that Fauzio’s remains as relevant as ever while navigating the treacherous waters of challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which has cut many businesses’ foot traffic.
“Some of the biggest challenges are name recognition, unknown factors such as recessions, pandemics and political events that affect the business – and being prepared for them. Some years you do fantastic and some years you don’t know what to do in terms of revenue,” he said.
“As a clothing business, we have to keep looking at the new trends and styles in this ever-changing fashion industry so you always have to be on the prowl.”
Fauzio’s started as a way for the Barakat family to achieve the American Dream. Now, Barakat wants to give back, helping others achieve their own dreams. He points to his father’s work with community mentorship programs, like the 100 Black Men of Greater Little Rock as an example of how to give back to the community.
Barakat, though, is still pursuing his American Dream day-by-day. As he said, business is not “always going to be sunshine and warm weather,” and owners have to be prepared to manage unexpected challenges.
“When it comes to my particular business and fashion, you just have to be the first to the punch. If a new trend is in, you need it in your store way before the other guys, so there for it’s just constant research as to what people want to wear,” he said.
As Barakat continues the new age of Fauzio’s, he plans to be the one pulling the first punch.