What happens when a brand purchases a warehouse?
Jos. A. Bank is attempting to purchase Men’s Warehouse. The offer was rejected yesterday but we haven’t heard the last of this story. Jos. A. Bank, at face value, is a well-managed brand. Stores in key zip codes, retail space (outside and inside) befitting an up market men’s clothier and the expectation of Jeeves-like service. Men’s Warehouse, also a well-managed brand, has over 1,100 stores nationwide, sells similar suits at similar value, but is branded and often presented as a lesser frills warehouse. The natty George Zimmer aside.
How would one merge these two similar businesses, each possessing very different brands? I suspect the Men’s Warehouse stores performing most poorly will be closed. Let’s say 300. That money will be pooled back into redesigning the Men’s Warehouse retail environments, the street-facing first, to look more like Jos. A. Bank. The Bank name will be picked up for all stores. Most brand values of the Bank will be kept along with the best of Men’s Warehouse, and I’m sure there are many. You don’t grow to have 1,100 stores by accident.
If the take-over effort continues, and I believe it will, what needs to happen for proper integration is good leadership and making sure the clothes match, metaphorically speaking. One brand that looks magnificent. Stay tuned. Peace.