Jos. A. Bank’s Makeover Will Dial Back Discounts, Update Clothes

Jos. A. Bank’s Makeover Will Dial Back Discounts, Update Clothes

This undated file photo provided by JoS. A. Bank, shows a JoS. A. Bank store at the Shops at Midtown Miami in Miami, Fla. (AP Photo/JoS. A. Bank, File)
This undated file photo provided by JoS. A. Bank, shows a JoS. A. Bank store at the Shops at Midtown Miami in Miami, Fla. (AP Photo/JoS. A. Bank, File)

(Bloomberg) – Jos. A. Bank, the clothing chain whose aggressive discounts were mocked in a “Saturday Night Live” sketch, no longer expects customers to buy four suits at a time. But two might be nice.

Under new owner Men’s Wearhouse, the company is making its promotions less outlandish — though not abandoning them altogether — and modernizing a 110-year-old brand that hasn’t caught on with millennials. Men’s Wearhouse Chief Executive Officer Doug Ewert is expanding Jos. A. Bank’s big-and-tall options, slim-fit styles and the shoe collection, aiming to broaden the chain’s appeal. The strategy will be unveiled this fall when the retailer eliminates “unnatural” discounts in favor of more targeted sales, like offering one suit for $229 or two for $400, Ewert said.

“Jos. A. Bank is a brand that just needs some updating, and we’re updating that brand as aggressively as we can,” Ewert said in an interview. “There’s a lot to talk about besides just price.”

 The company is mired in a slump and needs to adapt to longer-term trends. For one, fewer men have to wear a suit to work everyday. Jos. A. Bank’s comparable-store sales plunged 9.4 percent last quarter — including e-commerce orders — a far worse performance than the 3 percent decline analysts had estimated.