No New Jobs Seen In Clothiers' Headquarters Move

Jos. A. Bank Will Transfer 140 Workers To Hampstead

March 24, 1991|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff writer

HAMPSTEAD — Moving the headquarters for Jos. A. Bank Clothiers here from Baltimore County won't create any new jobs, the chief executive officer said.

The clothing company plans to move about 140 office workers fromOwings Mills to the distribution center at 500 Hanover Pike in lateMay, said Timothy F. Finley, who also is chairman of the board.

The company will save money and operate more efficiently by moving the employees into what now is empty space at the distribution facility, he said. It will spend about $500,000 to remodel the space, he said.

The distribution facility, near Black and Decker Inc. on Route 30, measures 261,000 square feet.

Jos. A. Bank, which makes men's and women's clothes, also has a sewing factory on Carroll Avenue here.

The company employs 306 people in Hampstead -- 144 at the distribution center and 162 at the sewing factory.

The firm has another manufacturing facility on North Avenue in Baltimore.

"It's tough to run a company when key manufacturing people are in one place andeverybody else is someplace else," Finley said.

Jos. A. Bank has occupied a 35,000-square-foot headquarters at McDonogh Crossroads, off Reisterstown Road in Owings Mills, for about four years.

Bank'slease there does not expire for seven years, Finley said. The company will pay $300,000 a year for the remainder of the lease as part of an agreement reached in January to break the contract, he said.

The lease is with MacKenzie and Associates Inc., a Lutherville, Baltimore County, development company.

If Jos. A. Bank continues to grow,it's possible there could be some expansion and new jobs in Hampstead, Finley said.

The company has 40 retail stores in 29 cities across the country, he said, and is considering opening new stores in theMidwest, Southeast and Southwest.

Sales in 1990 were about $140 million, Finley said.

Finley said his choices were to rent space inBaltimore or move into a building already owned by the company. If the decision to move into the Hampstead facility is "good for Carroll County, too, that's terrific," Finley said.

James C. Threatte, director of the county Department of Economic and Community Development,said, "We love having corporate headquarters here. It's part of the direction we're trying to move."

The county assisted Jos. A. Bank by sending employees from the permits office to the distribution facility to help company officials decide if the building could be converted for the headquarters, he said.

Even though the company will not add any new jobs with the move, county employment rolls will show 140 new employees, Threatte said.

It's important to keep quality companies like Jos. A. Bank in the area, he added.

"It's a big deal to us," Threatte said.

Eileen S. Fisher, marketing manager for thedepartment, said the move is "a tribute to the good business climatehere in Carroll County."

Jos. A. Bank has been based in Baltimoresince 1898.

In 1981, Quaker Oats, a Chicago-based company, purchased the clothing manufacturer. Five years later, a 13-member management team bought the company.

Finley said he was not part of that team.

Earlier this month, Bank reached an agreement with bondholdersto convert $50 million in junk-bond debt from the leveraged buyout by the management team.

The company also started a $6.5 million national advertising campaign this month.

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