Jos. A. Bank customers file suit, claiming deceptive marketing

Plaintiffs file class-action complaint accusing chain of perpetual sales at regular price

  • Jason Bruns, left, of Baltimore asks the advice of Bob Morrison, right, about ties at the Jos. A. Bank store on Pratt Street. Morrison is the manager of the shirts and ties department at the store.
Jason Bruns, left, of Baltimore asks the advice of Bob Morrison,… (Baltimore Sun photo by Barbara…)
June 04, 2012|By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun

Two customers of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. have filed a class-action lawsuit against the Hampstead-based men's apparel chain, accusing the retailer of using deceptive marketing by claiming merchandise is on sale when it is actually being offered at regular price.

James Waldron and Matthew Villani filed the complaint April 5 in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, seeking a jury trial. The plaintiffs filed on behalf of themselves and others who bought Jos. Bank merchandise from April 5, 2006, to the present.

The lawsuit, reported Monday by Citybizlist, asks the court to award damages and stop the retailer from using misleading advertising.

The lawsuit says that, contrary to Jos. A. Bank's representation, "the merchandise is perpetually 'on sale,' and the 'sale price' is actually the price at which Jos. A. Bank regularly offers their merchandise for sale," the lawsuit says. It adds that the merchandise was "rarely, if ever, sold at 'regular price'" and that advertisements created a false sense of urgency and gave the impression that prices would rise after a limited time.

The company noted the suit in its May 30 quarterly report, saying, "We intend to defend this lawsuit vigorously."

The plaintiffs, both from New Jersey, said they wouldn't have made purchases at Jos. A. Bank if they had not been swayed by the company's advertising, which they say violates the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

"Jos. A. Bank should not be allowed to retain the premium price profits generated from the sale of products that were unlawfully marketed, advertised and promoted," the lawsuit says

The retailer, which has 500 stores in 42 states, had net sales of $858.1 million and spent $326.5 million on sales and marketing in 2010.

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