Tailored Brands is rethinking its strategy for its hallmark Joseph Abboud brand.
The retailer formerly known as Men’s Wearhouse will no longer sell Abboud-labeled product within its Jos. A. Bank stores and will instead restrict the sale of that merchandise to its Men’s Wearhouse and Joseph Abboud stores and online.
Doug Ewert, chief executive officer of Tailored Brands, said that while the Abboud merchandise was selling well at Jos. A. Bank, the decision was made to keep that chain all private label.
But while the Abboud label will not be on the hangtags at Jos. A. Bank, the designer will continue to oversee the design of the product assortment.
“Even though I’m designing it, it’s more about building the monobrand of Jos. A. Bank,” said Abboud, chief creative officer of Tailored Brands. “Strategically, this makes the most sense. We’re really working on reenergizing Jos. A. Bank. It has great DNA with a history that goes back to 1905 as a traditional men’s clothier and we want to reinforce that.”
He said the focus will be on core products such as the “perfect” navy blazer and khaki suit, as well as natural-shoulder garments.
“We are totally revamping and reviewing the assortment and it’s all being developed in-house,” he said. “We have a great team doing it.”
Last spring, the company started to flow Joseph Abboud labeled merchandise into its Jos. A. Bank stores, starting with shoes and then expanding into tailored clothing. At the time, Ewert had projected that the rollout would take a year to complete.
The Joseph Abboud brand, which Men’s Wearhouse purchased in July 2013 for $97.5 million, has been a home run for the corporation, bringing in $230 million in sales in its first year. Abboud product was added to all Men’s Wearhouse stores over the course of 2014 and select stores also offer custom clothing. The first Joseph Abboud stand-alone store opened on Madison Avenue in New York last year and the company is projecting that the label will eventually have sales of $1 billion.
In contrast, Tailored Brands has struggled since acquiring Jos. A. Bank for $1.8 billion in 2014. For the three months ended Jan. 30, the company posted a net loss of $1.1 billion on a total sales decline of 11.1 percent. Comparable store sales at Jos. A. Bank were down 31.9 percent as the corporation moved away from the division’s aggressive price promotional stance and customers abandoned the business.
Tailored Brands will report first-quarter results on June 8.