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MBA grad’s store suits up for business at new location

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Nate DeMars, owner of Pursuit, stands outside the new Pursuit store. Credit: Cameron Carr / For The Lantern

Nate DeMars, owner of Pursuit, stands outside the new Pursuit store. Credit: Cameron Carr / For The Lantern

Pursuit, a men’s suit store started as a Fisher MBA class project, opened its new doors in the Short North earlier this month.

“It wasn’t that we wanted to leave campus, it was more that we wanted to be down here,” said owner Nate DeMars.

The new location at 937 N. High St. began taking appointments in July before opening for regular hours. DeMars, a 2011 graduate from the Fisher College of Business, said that the previous location in the South Campus Gateway didn’t close until July 31, allowing Pursuit to continue business throughout the move.

DeMars said he sees the Short North as one of the most exciting aspects of Columbus, and the new location will put Pursuit in the middle of that.

The Gateway store made Pursuit a convenient location for students because of its close proximity to the Ohio State campus, but DeMars said the new store expects to continue attracting a college crowd.

“We think we actually can serve students better here through a better store,” he said. “We still think we have a very unique expertise in selling suits to college guys.”

DeMars said the Short North location will still be one of the closest suit stores to campus.

After opening the Pursuit Mobile Suit Truck, a repurposed potato-chip delivery truck, early last year, the store began experimenting with different markets outside of the college population, which DeMars said helped influence the decision to move.

“We found that with an older demographic than we had on campus, the reaction was still positive,” he said.

While many students come to the Short North, DeMars said not as many people go to the campus area. The new location, he said, will attempt to capture a wider demographic in addition to getting increased foot traffic and visibility.

DeMars estimates the new store is 75 percent larger than the previous location, reflected in new additions to the Pursuit business. The new store was custom built to allow for modern innovations, as well as old-fashioned customer service.

The Short North location features more dressing rooms, an on-site tailor and a lounge area. The lounge, featuring complimentary drinks and a photobooth, will allow for Pursuit to host events and provide a more comfortable shopping experience, DeMars said.

“There’s often a crowd (when shopping for a suit),” he said. “This is a way to have more room for them to hangout.”

The store already has plans for a bowtie class for Cameron Mitchell servers and hopes to bring fraternities and student organizations in for events, DeMars said.

In addition to innovations to the store, Pursuit added its own line of suits. DeMars said that the line will provide options that other brands do not, such as specific colors and fits.

“When you come in here you’ve got products that you can’t get anywhere else that we think are unique to our brand,” he said.

With the new store, Pursuit hopes to provide an alternative to the mall store experience, DeMars said. Citing the success of Short North businesses such as Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and Homage, he said, “We want to be Columbus’ favorite suit store.”

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