Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. Friday confirmed that it was actively pursuing acquisitions and said it had retained Financo LLC to assist in the search.
Although Bank has long been believed to be interested in effecting an acquisition as the store count under its flagship brand has approached and now exceeded 600, the company said after its annual meeting Friday that it “has been and is considering strategic opportunities to enhance shareholder value,” including potential purchases of other companies and brands.
While it’s endured several difficult quarters in the recent past — first-quarter profits fell 45.5 percent on a 2.6 percent sales decline — the Hampstead, Md.-based men’s wear retailer boasts both annual sales and a market capitalization of more than $1 billion, no bank debt, more than $100 million in Internet sales and, as of Feb. 2, $377 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments.
“Those assets are critical to our efforts to enhance shareholder value, both through strategic opportunities, such as acquisitions, and organic growth,” said Andrew Giordano, lead independent director. “Our pursuit of strategic opportunities is part of our philosophy of long-term planning and decision making.”
Due in part to its highly verticalized structure, the company has among the strongest margin yields in apparel retailing. Even last year, when profits and margins were down, gross margin was 58.3 percent of revenues and operating margin 12.2 percent.
Harrison noted that “after significant deliberation, the board believes that the best use of its excess cash would be to acquire another company where they can use the existing synergies and strengths within the organization. This is a company with an abundance of retailing, design, marketing, sourcing and supply chain talent, and the skills and talents of the organization, including Bob Wildrick, the chairman, can bring added value to any acquisition it would make.”
Jos. A. Bank’s statement establishes that the company has elected to use the availability of cash for acquisition purposes, rather than more short-term purposes such as stock repurchases or special dividends.
Shares of the retailer closed Friday at $39.63, down 31 cents, or 0.8 percent.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)