A Look at Men's Wearhouse Founder George Zimmerhttp://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/06/19/a-look-at-mens-wearhouse-founder-george-zimmer.aspx Andrew Marder
June 19, 2013
Earlier today, Men's Wearhouse (NYSE: MW) announced that founder George Zimmer had been removed from his position as executive chairman, and that his ongoing relationship with the company was uncertain. The news came just a week after the company announced a 5.1% increase in total quarterly sales over its 2012 first quarter.
The Men's Wearhouse brand made up the bulk of sales, accounting for $561 million of the $617 million total. That brand saw a slight increase in comparable sales, up 1.6% versus the same period last year. The company's other brands experienced sharp comparable sales declines, though. The mixed quarter ended up being a mixed end for Zimmer.
The earlier years
At the time, Zimmer was working with limited capital -- about $7,000 -- and a whole book full of his father's contacts. That small start allowed Zimmer to open one storefront, where he sold sports coats and slacks. The business took off, and Zimmer opened a store a year for the next 10 years.
The rest of the decade was spent gearing the business up, and in 1992, Men's Wearhouse went public. For a decade, it opened 50 stores a year until it was the dominant player in the men's suiting market. The business got another boost in 1997, when Zimmer and his ad agency struck on the now famous tag line: "You're going to like the way you look. I guarantee it." Zimmer has delivered the line in his thick voice in commercials ever since.
Zimmer was also a strong proponent of hiring diverse e