JoS. A. Bank Clothiers

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Joseph A. Bank Clothiers, Inc.
JoS. A. Bank Clothiers
FoundedBaltimore, Maryland, 1905
FounderCharles Bank
Joseph A. Bank
Key people
Douglas S. Ewert (CEO)
Jon W. Kimmins, CFO & EVP
ProductsMen's Clothing
RevenueIncrease US$ 1.04 billion (2012)[1]
Decrease US$ 128.4 million (2012)[1]
Decrease US$ 79.6 million (2012)[1]
Total assetsIncrease US$ 894 million (2012)[1]
Total equityIncrease US$ 667.5 million (2012)[1]
Number of employees
ParentMen's Wearhouse
Jos. A. Bank store, Arborland Center
Jos. A. Bank store at a shopping mall in Portland, Oregon, in 2017

Joseph A. Bank Clothiers, Inc., also known by the abbreviated name JoS. A. Bank Clothiers,[a] is a retailer of men's clothing, particularly known for its often discounted men's suits. Established in 1905, it sells its products in over 500 stores throughout the United States, and by catalog and e-commerce.[2] The company has its headquarters in Hampstead, Carroll County, Maryland.[3][4] Jos. A. Bank offers tuxedo rentals through its parent company, Tailored Brands.


Charles Bank came to Baltimore, Maryland, from Lithuania in 1866 and opened a small tailor shop in the city. By the start of the 20th century, he had branched out into the manufacturing of pants. His grandson, Joseph A. Bank, had joined his small company in 1898 as a cloth cutter when he was 11 years old. Over the next ten years, Joseph became a wholesale salesperson, traveling in the South to sell pants.

In 1905, Moses Hartz established a men’s clothing manufacturing company which was taken over by his widow Lena Hartz in 1921. Their daughter, Anna Hartz, was a traveling salesperson for the firm. Although they were rivals in business, Anna married Joseph Bank. In 1922, Joseph joined forces with his new mother-in-law and formed L. Hartz and Bank.[5] This new company manufactured and sold suits to retailers throughout the region.

Over the years, the company grew and prospered and in 1940, they purchased a building on Hopkins Place in Baltimore to house their offices, showroom, shipping area and cutting department. In 1945, Joseph Bank and his son, Howard, bought out the Hartz interest in the company and formed JoS. A. Bank and Co.[6]

Following World War II, there was a severe shortage of men's tailored clothing. A decision was made to specialize in that merchandise and to sell directly to the consumer, rather than wholesale. As a result, a deal was struck with a retailer, Louie's, Inc., in Washington, D.C., to sell their clothing.

In 1954, Joseph Bank died and operation of the company was assumed by Howard Bank.

By 1981, JoS. A. Bank had 11 retail stores and a growing catalog business. CEO Leonard Ginsberg (married to Mitzi, the daughter of Joseph and Anna) decided to sell the company. Leonard was the last family member tied to the original Jos. a Bank family business. That year, the company was purchased by the Quaker Oats Company and became part of their Specialty Retailing group along with Eyelab and Brookstone. That relationship proved mutually beneficial, and by 1985, there were 25 stores. In 1986, Quaker decided to concentrate its efforts on its core businesses and JoS. A. Bank once again became a privately owned corporation. In 1992, their expansion included a franchise concept. In the spring of 1994, JoS. A. Bank Clothiers became a publicly owned company, trading its stock through the NASDAQ stock exchange (JOSB).

In 1998, JoS. A. Bank Clothiers sold its manufacturing division and now out-sources its production. This has enabled the company to focus on its retail business. Much of the tailored clothing is “factory direct”.

JoS. A. Bank launched its Internet site in August 1998.

On 12 November 2013, Ricky Sandler, CEO of Eminence Capital LLC, published a letter he sent to Men's Wearhouse CEO Douglas Ewert discussing a merger with Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc as part of an ongoing attempt by JoS. A. Bank to merge with Men's Wearhouse.[7] In December 2013, JoS. A Bank turned down the takeover offer from competitor Men’s Wearhouse, saying the $1.54 billion bid was too low.[8]

Attempted Eddie Bauer acquisition[edit]

On February 14, 2014, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers announced plans to buy outdoor retailer Eddie Bauer in a $825 million deal.[9] Men’s Wearhouse quickly filed a lawsuit to block the proposed deal, on the basis that it served only to make Jos. A. Bank an undesirable acquisition target.[10] The lawsuit was expedited by Delaware Judge J. Travis Laster, who agreed that the Eddie Bauer deal was likely defensive posturing on the part of Jos. A. Bank. According to Laster, the Eddie Bauer transaction may well have fallen “outside the range of reasonableness.”[11] Laster ordered Jos. A. Bank to submit documents pertaining to the acquisition and required it to notify Men’s Wearhouse at least 10 days before closing a deal with Eddie Bauer.

Acquisition by Men's Wearhouse[edit]

On March 11, 2014, JoS. A. Bank and Men's Wearhouse announced that both boards of directors had agreed to merge, with Men's Wearhouse acquiring Jos. A. Bank for $1.8 billion.[12] As part of the deal, Bank terminated its plan to acquire Eddie Bauer.

Popular culture[edit]

A March 2014 episode of Saturday Night Live teased the company's aggressive promotions and discounting strategy with a fake commercial in which Jos. A. Bank suits were promoted as an alternative to paper towels. In the ad, Vanessa Bayer declares "with their innovative 'Buy 1, Get 3 Free' pricing, a suit from Jos. A. Bank is effectively cheaper than paper towels!" The sketch went on to show Bayer using Jos. A. Bank suits to clean-up food spills and other messes.[13] [14]


  1. ^ Jos. is a traditional abbreviation for Joseph, while the capitalization of the S is simply stylistic.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, WASHINGTON, DC 20549 : FORM 10-K : Annual Report". Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  2. ^ "Company Information". JoS. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  3. ^ "Career Opportunities Archived 2010-04-13 at the Wayback Machine." JoS. A. Bank Clothiers. Retrieved on May 15, 2010.
  4. ^ "Town of Hampstead Zoning Map Archived 2016-01-18 at the Wayback Machine." Town of Hampstead. Retrieved on May 15, 2010.
  5. ^ [1] Archived December 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "History of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc. – FundingUniverse". Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  7. ^ Karr, Arnold J. (12 November 2013). "Men's Wearhouse Open to Jos. A. Bank Talks, Investor Says". WWD. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  8. ^ AP (23 December 2013). "Jos. A. Bank Turns Down Men's Wearhouse Offer". Advisories. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  9. ^ Sherman, Natalie; Mirabella, Lorraine. "Jos. A. Bank to acquire Eddie Bauer in deal worth $825 million". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  10. ^ "Men's Wearhouse Adds Fiery Lawsuit, More Money to Takeover Fight". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
  11. ^ "Judge Expedites Men's Wearhouse Lawsuit". New York Times Dealbook. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
  12. ^ Jos. A. Bank and quantitative easing have a lot in common Business Insider
  13. ^ Dumenco, Simon (31 March 2014). "Did Jos. A. Bank's Buy-1-Get-3-Free Suit Sales Make This Harsh 'SNL' Parody Inevitable?". Ad Age. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  14. ^ Swift, Tim (31 March 2014). "'Saturday Night Live' literally burns Jos. A. Bank with brutal parody". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 19 April 2014.

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