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Mike Bjorn's: Quality and Service are ALWAYS in Style

1/26/2018 - Gary Eckstein

Mike's Bjorn's in Downtown Kenosha offers menswear and other fashions
Mike's Bjorn's in Downtown Kenosha offers menswear and other fashions
Mike's Bjorn's in Downtown Kenosha offers menswear and other fashions
Mike's Bjorn's in Downtown Kenosha offers menswear and other fashions
Mike's Bjorn's in Downtown Kenosha offers menswear and other fashions

When I think of the Kenosha businesses that are family-owned and standout for their service, quality, and value… Mike Bjorn’s Clothing is at the top of my list. Bjorn’s is known for its funky decorations that get customers in the door - but what keeps them coming back are the great prices, product knowledge, and royal treatment from the owners and staff. This is definitely not like other shops, it is a unique Kenosha destination.

Bjorn’s is the “largest men’s clothier in the state of Wisconsin”. It’s been the area go-to place for wedding and prom tuxes for nearly 40 years. Each spring, about 1,000 young men are fitted for prom tuxes and the store serves several hundred wedding parties every year. The business was started in 1981 by Mike Bjorn, who has since passed the torch to his son, Brett.

I recently visited the store and chatted with Brett. He has updated the business model to include more styles of tuxedos and the bundling of products, so that customers can get complete outfits at competitive prices. Brett has kept the fundamental business strategy in place – low overhead, volume buying, product knowledge, and attention to the needs of the customer. Selection, price and quality never go out of style.

Over the past 25 years of my time in the Kenosha Area, there were so many times where I didn’t have a tie, waited until the last minute to prepare for a special event, spilled coffee on my white shirt before an important meeting, or showed up on the Bjorn’s doorstep in a panic due to some fashion crisis. The response has always been the same - “Come in, let’s see what we can do to get this straightened out!” And they always did – perfect tie, new white shirt, or even swanky socks. About 15 years ago I had bought a ticket for a formal event in the area. I brought the flyer in to the store (at the last minute of course), showed it to Mike, and told him I needed a decent suit. He tactfully explained to me the dress code for a “formal event” and hooked me up with a sharp tux. The best part? He saved me a lot of money.

The changes to Downtown Kenosha are creating new opportunities for stores in the area. There are more walk-in customers who are dining or visiting in the area. While a menswear shop may not traditionally do a lot of casual cash-and-carry business, Bjorn’s has something for everyone! Bjorn’s stocks the coolest socks, ties, ascots, hats, Hawaiian shirts, and other men’s accessories – probably the coolest assortment you’ll find in the Midwest, in colors and designs that you won’t likely find anywhere else! It is not uncommon to browse the racks and hear someone exclaim (or shout out yourself) - “I’ve got to have that for my Dad, it’s totally him!”

Before you leave, check out the basement at Bjorn’s. Used tuxes, suits, shoes, sport coats for sale or rent – everything from super nerdy outfits a la Lawrence Welk, to super fly threads you could wear on a movie set with Pam Grier. Theater groups love the basement - it’s the kind of place where theatrical inspirations come to life. Brett Bjorn has been known to rock a wild holiday outfit or Halloween costume form the basement collection. The size of the inventory is amazing.

When in Kenosha, stop by Bjorn’s – it’s a Kenosha icon.

Gary Eckstein

Community Blogger

From Montello, WI. MA in Sociology. Former Army Reserve and National Guard Officer. Instructor at UW-Parkside and Carthage College. Husband to Varsha. Photographer. Guitarist and Lover of blues.

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