Strong holiday sales and an uptick in Internet orders enabled Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. to post a 9.3 percent increase in same-store sales and a 10.6 percent increase in overall sales for November, according to a company official.
"It's nice for us to be able to beat our own figures," said Robert N. Wildrick, chief executive officer of Bank, which is based in Hampstead. He added that the November sales increase was the highest in the 95-year-old company's recent history.
Total sales in the monthly period that ended Nov. 25 were $20.9 million, compared with $18.9 million in November 1999. The clothing retailer's November sales performance comes on the heels of four straight quarters of improved earnings.
"The election this year had sales going at a slower pace due to the uncertainty," said Wildrick. "Also, we've seen a slowdown in the economy, which makes our results even better."
Wildrick credited a new management team that began reshaping the company about a year ago, after he took office in September 1999. For the nine-month period that ended Oct. 28, Bank posted net income of $2.1 million, or 33 cents per diluted share, on sales of $135.3 million, compared with a net loss of $565,000 on sales of $131.5 million in the year-earlier period.
Wildrick said Bank has also ridden the corporate-casual wave as more companies have loosened their dress codes to allow employees to wear casual slacks and shirts, as opposed to suits and ties.
"As people have started to update their wardrobes, we're selling merchandise very well," said Wildrick.
Bank's Internet sales nearly doubled in the month while catalog sales were down 9 percent. Wildrick said catalog shoppers helped increase Internet sales by placing their orders through their new Web site, rather than over the phone or through mail-in orders.
The company has 116 stores nationwide and plans to open about 30 stores next year. Bank's shares rose 22 cents to $4.31 yesterday.