Bonobos opens first Michigan ‘guideshop’

Ian Thibodeau
The Detroit News

After a speedy bout of construction, men’s fashion and business attire retailer Bonobos will open its “guideshop” in downtown Detroit on Thursday.

The store fills 1,700 square feet at 1417 Woodward near several other recently opened shops and restaurants in Detroit’s re-emerging downtown shopping district. The Bonobos building is managed by Quicken Loans Founder Dan Gilbert’s real estate arm, Bedrock.

The Bonobos store is a new concept for the city: Customers can browse and try on clothes, buy cannot leave the store with any goods. Purchases made in-store will be shipped free to a customer’s home two to five business days later.

Douglas Kelin, 36, of Detroit looks at shirts as he stopped in to the new Bonobos store in downtown.

“We’re so excited for Bonobos to open downtown and join our solid collection of retail on Woodward Avenue,” said Dan Mullen, executive vice president of Bedrock. “Their unique ‘guideshop’ concept is an experience-focused way of shopping where the Bonobos retail advisers work with each individual customer to curate a custom experience. It’s a great way to draw even more people to the Woodward Avenue retail district.”

The guideshop concept launched in 2011 as part of an effort to evolve shopping by “eliminating hassles associated with a traditional retail store.” Bonobos customers are assigned a “guide” when they enter the store, who helps customers find the right fits and styles among the Bonobos merchandise.

Bonobos sells a range of men’s casual, business and dress attire, including pants, shorts, shirts, outerwear and other accessories. Pants range from $88 to more than $200. Dress shirts range from $98 to $178.

The store occupies valuable real estate a few blocks north of Campus Martius park downtown. Within the last year, a handful of high-profile companies have completed or announced new projects and stores along that same strip.

The Bonobos store is a block from the 17,000-square-foot Under Armour store set to open this spring. It is across Woodward from the Shinola Hotel site, which recently broke ground and will be completed in 2018. Bonobos also shares the block with the recently opened “technical cashmere” clothing store Kit and Ace, and is less than a block from the swanky John Varvatos men’s fashion store.

All of those locations are a stone’s throw from the old J.L. Hudson’s site, which should see a Gilbert-backed development soon.

Bonobos has more than 20 locations around the country, and the company brands itself as the biggest internet-launched apparel brand in the U.S.; New York, Los Angeles and Chicago all have stores.

The store at the corner of Clifford and Grand River will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.

Customers can make appointments online at, though walk-ins are welcome, company representatives said.

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau