Flailing chain Men’s Wearhouse has suffered a public perception hit after the very high-profile removal of their founder and the brand’s face — the “you’re gonna like the way you look, I guarantee it” guy — and an offer from similar chain Jos. A Bank failed to get off the ground this week.
George Zimmer’s Men’s Wearhouse ouster caused an outcry over the summer, with customer sentiment ranging from a perception of age discrimination to simple discomfort with the brand excising the long-time spokesfounder.
Zimmer publicly broke ranks with and lambasted the board of Men’s Wearhouse after he was removed, and board head Bill Sechrest feels that competitor Jos. A Bank used the brand’s current uncertainty as an excuse to make what it seems they believe is an insulting offer.
Sechrest also suggested the other retailer faced similar challenges, and said in the statement:
“Men’s Wearhouse believes the Jos. A. Bank unsolicited and inadequate proposal is a highly opportunistic attempt to exploit a temporary dislocation in the stock price of Men’s Wearhouse in order to deprive Men’s Wearhouse’s shareholders of the intrinsic value of their investment… Men’s Wearhouse’s recent second-quarter performance was impacted by difficult market conditions, which many other retailers faced during the quarter, including Jos. A. Bank.”
The company said in the statement that the Jos. A Bank offer “significantly undervalues Men’s Wearhouse and its strong prospects for continued growth and value creation.” Earlier, Jos. A Bank had offered to pay Men’s Wearhouse $48 per share for the bid to take over the competing company, prompting the statement from the board early this morning ahead of trading and before the bell.
Men’s Wearhouse shares rallied 30 percent in pre-market trading.