Promotions revamp helps Jos. A. Bank boost November sales

Reuters

* Retailer offering more straight discounts

* Third-quarter adj earnings/share $0.51 vs est $0.49

* Revenue rises 6.3 pct to $247.5 mln vs est $245 mln

Dec 5 (Reuters) - Men's suit retailer Jos. A. Bank ClothiersInc said comparable-store sales rose in November,suggesting its new strategy of offering more straight discountsrather than buy-one-get-more offers was paying off.

The company - the target of a takeover bid by Men'sWearhouse Inc - struggled earlier this year as customersdid not respond to its aggressive marketing campaigns, whichincluded offers such as "buy one, get three free".

Comparable-store sales have fallen in every quarter thisyear, including the latest quarter when they fell 0.1 percent.

"... The customer is responding well to the changes we aremaking in the promotional side of our business," Chief ExecutiveR. Neal Black said in a statement on Thursday.

Black said both total sales and comparable-store sales rosein November but did not provide details.

Total sales rose 6.3 percent to $247.5 million in the thirdquarter ended Nov. 2. Analysts on average were expecting revenueof $245 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net income rose to $13.6 million, or 49 cents per share,from $13.3 million, or 47 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the Hampstead, Maryland-based companyearned 51 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimateof 49 cents.

Jos. A. Bank's gross margin rose by 40 basis points to 57.42percent in the third quarter.

Jos. A. Bank offered to buy Men's Wearhouse in October for$2.3 billion, but was swiftly rebuffed. Jos. A. Bank thendropped its offer but did not rule out another bid in thefuture.

Men's Wearhouse struck back weeks later with a $1.5 billionoffer for its former suitor.

Men's Wearhouse is scheduled to report results next week.

Jos. A. Bank shares were untraded before the bell. They haverisen 33 percent this year to Wednesday's close of $56.89 on theNasdaq.

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