Men's clothier Jos. A. Bank (NASDAQ:JOSB) scared investors into selling off the stock by 6% on news that same-store sales were weak. Men's clothing is looking a bit threadbare with its 1.4% increase coupled with a similar depressing number from Men's Wearhouse (NYSE:MW).

The first quarter isn't knitting together for the retailer. Sales growth is off from the strong demand seen last year, and comparable store sales are down across the board.

2007 Sales

2007 Comps

2006 Sales

2006 Comps
















*Compares a 5-week period to a 4-week period.
**Compares a 5-week period to a 5-week period.

There have been few months over the past year that have been as weak as those experienced by Jos. A. Bank this quarter. What investors ought to be asking themselves is whether this is a cause for concern or an opportunity.

Following last August's sell-off after reporting a decline in the important retail metric, the company was able to bounce back with both strong sales numbers and equally impressive comps. The stock recovered from around $24 to over $35. So far this year, the numbers have been far less reassuring, while at the same time inventory concerns have shaken investor confidence.

Yet as fellow Foolish contributor Vitaliy Katsenelson has reiterated, this retailer is different than Men's Wearhouse or Casual Male (NASDAQ:CMRG) when it comes to the inventory count. First, management has advised Wall Street for several years that raising its inventory levels at its stores is a planned occurrence because previously it didn't have enough of a selection for what customers wanted. It's trying to right-size its product selection.

Second, men's clothing fashions change at a tortoise pace. So that high inventory turnover isn't an essential component of the business; having the right product on the rack is.

Although sales growth is off over last year, it isn't troublingly so. The company contends weather may have played a part in it, and perhaps a glut of retail outlets to choose from in the menwear department enters the equation. Like Casual Male, which focuses on its niche of the plus-sized male, Jos. A. Bank concentrates on men's suits. Men's Wearhouse has been trying to make the tuxedo business an equally important component of its business and most recently agreed to acquire the After Hours formalwear chain from Federated (NYSE:FD). Yet the single-minded purpose has served Jos. A. Bank well and weakness in its stock at this point should probably be viewed as opportunity.

For more on these merchants of men's fashion, check out:

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Fool contributor Rich Duprey owns shares of Casual Male but does not own any of the other stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.