Clothing retailer's expansion heralds end of financial woes Baltimore market 'excellent for us'

December 19, 1992|By Timothy J. Mullaney | Timothy J. Mullaney,Staff Writer

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers will move its downtown store to 100 E. Pratt St. early next year and expand its business in Towson's Kenilworth Park shopping center as part of a 10-store expansion that heralds the end of financial problems for the retailer.

Bank will close its Light Street store downtown. The relocation will give a shot in the arm to its new building, best known as the home of T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., which has seen strong leasing in recent months after a protracted battle against the recession.

"We're excited about expanding in our hometown," said Timothy F.Finley, chairman and CEO of Bank, in a statement. "Baltimore continues to be an excellent market for us."

Mr. Finley could not be reached for comment yesterday.

But in a 1991 interview with The Evening Sun, he said the company was struggling under $70 million of debt from a 1986 leveraged buyout led by investors including Baltimore Orioles principal owner Eli S. Jacobs, but was near an agreement to convert $45 million of that debt to preferred stock.

Mr. Jacobs is no longer on Bank's board of directors.

Glenn Christenson, Bank's manager of retail marketing, said the restructuring was completed soon after the 1991 interview appeared.

Bank, which is privately held and based in Hampstead, does not routinely make announcements about its financial dealings.

"It is safe to say the struggling times are over," Mr. Christenson said. "We have to deal with the day-to-day retail environment, but business has been improving this season."

Bank would not say where the new stores would be because leases have not been signed, Mr. Christenson said.

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