NEW YORK — Hartmarx Corp signed off on a 3 million share buy back to help its beleaugured stock. The repurchase, which would account for 8 percent of the stock’s outstanding shares, will be made on the open market or in privately negotiated transactions.

The Chicago-based company, which makes and markets better tailored brands as well as a mix of golf and casual sportwear labels, has been battered by retail consolidation and softness in the mid-tier tailored clothing market. Its stock price, at $4.98 in mid-day trading last Tuesday, has fallen more than 40 percent from its 52-week high due to weak earnings.

This is Hartmarx’s second large stock repurchase program in the last few years. The company approved a 2 million share buyback in 2005. As of two weeks ago, that repurchase program was nearly complete.