Men’s Wearhouse founder George Zimmer told Bloomberg that he warned Men’s Wearhouse against acquiring Jos. A. Bank, an acquisition that is now weighing on the menswear company.
Zimmer, the face of the company since its founding in 1973 and known for his trademark promise “You’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it,” was ousted in 2013 over disagreements about the direction the company should take.
Men’s Wearhouse acquired Jos. A. Bank for $1.8 billion after a protracted back-and-forth series of moves and countermoves.
George Zimmer seems to have recovered from his firing from the company he founded, having since launched two start-ups, a online tuxedo rental company and a on-demand tailoring business.
But unless Men’s Wearhouse figures out what to do with its acquisition of Jos. A. Bank, he may not recover the value of the company’s stock, some of which he still owns. Jos. A Bank reported Wednesday that Q3 same-store stores at Jos. A. Bank fell 14.6% and same-store sales for the quarter-to-date were down 35.1%.
Zimmer is a bit in “I told you so” mode, telling Bloomberg that he had warned against the acquisition of Jos. A. Bank. “I thought it was ill-fated,” he told Bloomberg. “I recommended they not make the acquisition.”
The reason behind this forewarning was Jos. A. Bank's constant promotions.
“They had a problem," Zimmer told Bloomberg. "Joe Bank had really damaged their brand over a number of years by running incessant promotions so that nobody wanted to go there and pay regular price.”
And that is exactly what’s happening: Men’s Wearhouse is finding it quite difficult to pivot from the retailer’s infamous “buy one suit get three free” because of great resistance from shoppers.