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.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews