If you've raided the closet for something to wear to that important job interview or business meeting and come up empty, Men's Wearhouse
On Wednesday, the suit king reported same-store sales up 5.9% in November. Turns out, that wasn't enough, as Wall Street had been looking for 7.5%. Don't put this one back on the rack.
In fact, the company's been hopping. Fool Rick Aristotle Munarriz lauded Men's Wearhouse's strength in August, after the company reported robust second-quarter earnings. It followed through with third-quarter profits that nearly doubled.
Years ago, a move toward casual dress made suits, ties, and the like seem downright stodgy. But donning a suit for an interview never goes out of fashion, even if it's jeans and khakis once the deal is done, and if men neglected the dressier end of their closets, an improving business climate gives one more reason to spiff it up.
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that small businesses are starting to add workers. That's a sign that better times are ahead for job seekers overall, and good news for those hoping the "jobless recovery" will give way to some real growth in employment.
And when the job market does heat up again, not just the unemployed will be pounding the pavement. Plenty of prudent workers have weathered the storm in unsatisfying jobs and will surely start looking once the coast seems clear. Likely, they have not yet even begun to shop. There's even a sense that dressing up is back in style.
Maybe Men's Wearhouse is losing steam while the economy picks up, but it seems unlikely. Improving economic conditions provide occasion for a whole lot of new suits, not to mention shirts and power ties. That should play right into the hands of companies like JoS. A. Bank
Is Men's Wearhouse going out of fashion? Are people starting to pick up their threads elsewhere? Discuss Men's Wearhouse and other shopping venues with other Fools on the Retail discussion board.
Alyce Lomax welcomes your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.