When casual Fridays put a wrinkle in the starched selling philosophy of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, the company dressed down. Although it is still best known for making tailored clothing for the professional man, including suits, sport coats, dress shirts, and pants, it has added casual wear suitable for those dress-down Fridays and weekends. It also launched the David Leadbetter line of golf wear. The company sells its Jos. A. Bank clothes and a few shoe brands through its catalogs, website, and some 560 company-owned or franchised stores in 40-plus states and the District of Columbia. For corporate customers, it offers a credit card that provides users with discounts. Most of its stores house a tailoring shop.
The fast-growing men's apparel chain has added more than 350 stores over the past eight years, topping the 500-store mark in fiscal 2011 (ends January). Going forward, it believes it can grow to about 600 full-line stores and as many as 75 factory stores in the US. The growing store base and increasing same-store sales (up 7% in fiscal 2011), have resulted in healthy sales and profit growth. Fiscal 2011 sales increased by about 11% vs. the prior year, while net income was up more than 20% over the same period. (Indeed, 2011 marked the 10th consecutive year of increasing sales and profits for the retailer.) The chain saw strong sales increases in dress shirts, other tailored clothing (particularly sportcoats, blazers, and dress pants), sportswear, and suits. In 2011 Jos. A. Bank began taking online orders from international customers, giving a boost to its growing e-commerce business.
The retailer covers all the bases with its "Three Levels of Luxury" strategy, which includes the Jos. A. Bank Executive collection, the more luxurious Signature collection, and the exclusive Signature Gold collection. (The higher-end lines feature superfine qualities of wool and other materials.) Together the Signature and Signature Gold collections accounted for more than 25% of total merchandise sales in 2011.
The chain has sought growth through nontraditional means. It began offering tuxedo rentals in about half of its stores in 2010 and now offers rentals at all of its locations. While Jos. A Bank already sells formalwear, it believes it can tap into an additional revenue stream by offering the rental option. It competes with the likes of Men's Wearhouse and Tux and other formal wear chains.
Investment firm FMR LLC owns nearly 15% of the company's shares, while Royce & Associates owns about 11%.
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