Will the Men’s Wearhouse/Joseph A. Bank marriage ever work?

Shotgun marriage is more like it; the combination of these two men’s brands may have seemed like a good idea at the time but the promotional strategies (among other things) are proving incompatible. Here’s a recent comment I added to a RetailWire discussion:

First things first: Both companies (whether owned together or separately) need to do a better job identifying and cultivating their target consumer. Men’s Wearhouse has always struck me as having a younger, more updated brand position while Jos. A. Bank appeals to an older, more traditional consumer. The merger of the two companies has not made this brand positioning any clearer in the last year.

Second: Retailers that try to “abandon ship” on a high/low promotional strategy often pay a steep price. (Just ask JCPenney.) I think there is a valid argument that Jos. A. Bank carried their “deals” to extremes (who wants to buy four suits at a time?), but there isn’t much doubt that the tactic drove sales among loyal customers. Men’s Wearhouse has a lot of work to do, in order to fix this problem.

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