business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Over the years, I've occasionally made fun of the Jos A. Bank men's clothing chain, mostly because I've always kind of wondered whether at some level it undermines its own sense of value with its "buy one, get two free" approach. I mean, how much can the suit actually be worth if they're giving them away two at a time? (The chain is largely able to do this because it is both retailer and manufacturer … everything is private label, and it can control its supply chain costs more than a retailer that just sells branded suits.)

Now, clearly the Jos A. Bank chain knows more than I do. It's been growing, and just has been acquired by the Men's Wearhouse chain. I suspect that a lot of the reason for the growth, at least over the past six years, is that in a troubled economy, getting two free suits speaks to what people need … and people aren't really worried about what they're worth. Whether this could have negative long term implications remains to be seen.

But … as it often does, "Saturday Night Live" cut right to the heart of the matter last weekend when it did one of its patented commercial parodies that directly addressed the issue of value at Jos A. Banks. I found it both funny and insightful … and I hope you'll enjoy it.

You can see it by clicking here.

It is an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: