In May of 2022 our friend Daniel from Ring on Hook introduced us to his client, Vornado Realty Trust. Vornado is one of the largest owners of commercial real estate in the country, owning and operating over 26 million square feet of office and retail space. Their portfolio consists primarily of Manhattan real estate, covering 62 buildings and 20 million square feet in the heart of the world's bustling economic center.
Ring on Hook was brought on to manage the hospitality and customer experience aspects of the Vornado portfolio, as CRE owners across the country began to invest in bringing workers "back to the office" after Covid. One crucial piece of delivering a high end customer experience is having the forward facing staff - the security guards - in uniforms that make them look and feel great.
The first property on the agenda was the recently renovated One Penn Plaza, an absolutely stunning building with world class amenities located in Vornado's "Penn District" a campus like group of buildings that includes the flagship Penn 1, as well as Moynihan Train Hall, in the former Farley Post Office.
Vornado's vision for their uniform program was for their guards to look as modern, clean and upscale as their new flagship building. No more ill-fitting black polyester suits and square toed shoes - a total level up was needed.
We stepped in and collaborated with leadership on a uniform that was just that - as well as comfortable and durable.
First up - no more off the rack suits. Everything was going to be custom to give every last employee, regardless of body type, a perfectly fitting suit.
We partnered with our good friend Alex Sumner from Acustom Apparel in Soho to help create a streamlined Made to Measure suiting measurement process. We then dug in and helped him measure over 250 guards in our very first sitting (over a 3 day span in Manhattan), and we've measured over 100 more across two different states since!
The charcoal (not black!) suits are made from a high-twist super 100's wool, which makes them both more durable than standard super 100's wool, but more breathable as well.
For shirting, we went with a full placket, button up pique polo in white. Using a pique fabric gives the uniform a more contemporary styling, as well as lighter weight, moveable fabric. Each guard receives both long and short sleeved shirts, which comes in handy during this steamy summertime Manhattan days.
To put the finishing touches on, we designed and manufactured a genuine brown leather dress sneaker, complete with non slip soles and optional insole inserts for added arch support. We added in a matching belt and crisp white (pre folded) pocket square for good measure!
Finally, one of the most important aspects of this project has been the support Stock has provided Vornado from a customer service and logistics standpoint. With over 400 guards in uniform across 62 buildings, and 4 factories in two countries handling production, this was no small undertaking. We partnered with a local laundering company to handle the receiving, storing, distribution and cleaning of all the uniforms. Furthermore, we provide dedicated customer support, and have implemented systems across the entire supply chain to aide in communications, product tracking, and employee onboarding and attrition.
The result has been one of the largest, most challenging, and unambiguously successful projects in our 10+ years of experience. The visual upgrade is undeniable, Vornado has been so satisfied we've rolled the program out to their San Francisco portfolio, and are working on other opportunities within their company now as well.