Jos. A. Bank’s Men Wearhouse Takeover May Not Suit Its Md. Employees

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HAMPSTEAD, Md. (WJZ/AP)–A takeover in the world of men’s clothing finds Maryland’s Jos. A. Bank with a new corporate owner. The mayor of Hampstead says he’s waiting to hear how it will affect the company’s nearly 800 jobs in the area.

Alex DeMetrick reports on what that means next for a business that started here more than a century ago.

Chris Nevin told the Carroll County Times  Wednesday that neither Jos. A Bank nor Men’s Wearhouse Inc. has reached out to town officials about how their merger will affect employment in Hampstead.

Last fall, Maryland’s Jos. A. Bank tried to buy Texas competitor Men’s Warehouse. On Tuesday, Men’s Warehouse bought Jos. A. Bank for $1.8 billion, making the combined companies worth $3.8 billion with 1,700 stores and a joint workforce of 23,000 employees.

Economists like Anirban Basu watched both companies’ stock gain on word of the takeover.

“Some analysts have called this a second Christmas for bank shareholders, and from that perspective it looks to be pretty positive, but I must tell you it’s not just merriment here,” said Basu, Sage Policy Group

It’s evident in advertising on both company’s Web sites.

“They do a lot of the same things and what that means is they’re likely to look at cost savings because there’s a lot of duplication,” Basu said.

Despite statements from Men’s Wearhouse that “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Jos. A. Bank, which we believe will deliver substantial benefits to our respective shareholders, employees and customers” and Jos. A. Bank’s “We look forward to working together with Men’s Wearhouse to ensure a smooth transition,” things could get bumpy at Jos. A. Bank’s corporate headquarters and distribution centers in Hampstead in Carroll County.

“Which is home to around 780 Jos. A. Bank’s jobs,” Basu said.

The impact on Maryland jobs is unknown at this point, but some say cuts seem inevitable.

“Operationally, there will be changes, and my very strong feeling there’s going to be some cost cutting,” Basu said.

But perhaps not at Jos. A. Bank stores. Men’s Wearhouse says the brand will continue.

It will take until the third business quarter for the takeover to be completed, and it may be months to see what jobs will be eliminated.

Nevin says Hampstead has weathered previous changes in its industrial base. Black & Decker sold its Hampstead facility in the late 1990s, resulting in hundreds of job losses.

The food seasonings company Fuchs North America is planning to move its corporate headquarters to Hampstead from neighboring Baltimore County.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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