Men's Wearhouse blames women for slow sales

The company's CEO says superstitious brides dragged down the clothing chain's numbers. Last quarter's earnings report suggests otherwise.

By Jason Notte Sep 13, 2013 4:08PM
People walk past a Men's Wearhouse store on November 2, 2011 in Oakland, Calif. (© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)Chicks, man.

A dude can't even badmouth suffrage, pop his collar and view the world through privilege-colored aviators without a bunch of women jumping all over his case. They've been thinking differently than guys since grade school and have been eroding the masculinity of poor, insecure brohams for generations.

Now they won't even let you buy a decent suit or tux. Men's Wearhouse (MW)  chief executive Doug Ewert knows his company's net income fell 28% in the second quarter, but isn't ready to blame an early Easter that pushed prom tuxedo rentals earlier than usual or the company's swift and unexpected canning of founder and commercial figurehead George Zimmer in June.

No, the true obstacles to menswear dominance are feeble, superstitious ladybrains and the power-wielding harpies using them. Let's hear from Ewert for more:

"We believe that the number 13 in 2013 is causing a small, but meaningful number of brides to avoid getting married this year," Ewert said on a call with analysts Thursday, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Read that again. That's a real explanation that a grown man in charge of a publicly traded company gave to analysts trying to determine the strength and stability of his business. What leads a person occupying a company's most powerful position to make that claim?

Maybe it's the long-held heartache of seeing his mother permanently paralyzed after he stepped on a crack on the way to grade school. Maybe it's the black cat that, before crossing his path, told him that people would never take him seriously as long as they believed that nice guy with the beard in the commercials was running the company. Maybe he did the same Google search The Wall Street Journal did and came up with the one article featuring a woman who outright refused to get married in 2013, but tied the knot in 2012.

Either way, the source of Men's Wearhouse's woes is obviously those darned dames. After all, with female doctors making $56,000 less than their male counterparts for doing the same jobs, the rest of the female workforce essentially working 59 days a year for free and no real chance of the gender pay gap shrinking until 2056, it's clear that women have the male professional world right where they want it. It's only a matter of time until suits disappear entirely and men are forced to dress according to whatever fickle little whim their female overlords are following on any given day.

How corporate earnings calls devolved into the premise for a bad '80s battle-of-the-sexes sitcom, however, is somewhat less apparent.

More on moneyNOW

Sep 13, 2013 4:16PM
Maybe it has something to do with George Zimmer being forced out?
Sep 13, 2013 5:38PM
Without George Zimmer I wouldn't rent a canoe in a flood from these guys.  Talk about low class, these clowns have no class.

I hope that George starts another company and puts these guys out of business.

Just saying....

Sep 13, 2013 5:44PM
What an idiot.  People aren't shopping there because of the way they treated George Zimmer.  The commercials aren't even as good.  I miss that velvety voice at the end saying, "She's going to love the way you look, I guarantee it."   The economy isn't helping either.  It's lots cheaper to rent a tux or suit than buy one.  If this is the mind of the person running the business now, no wonder they are tanking. 
Sep 13, 2013 5:51PM
I was going to buy three suits from M.W. but the way they did George Zimmer made think twice and I bought them from Kohl's instead. George was and is M.W. so without him they lost my business. JC
I'll never shop Men's Warehouse because of what they did to George Zimmer, Jos A Bank is my store of choice!
Sep 13, 2013 6:31PM
Maybe Men's Wearhouse needs a CEO that accepts responsibility instead of shifting blame.  Ask George.  He would "guarantee it!"
Sep 13, 2013 6:13PM
I work at a facility where we hold weddings and receptions (during the summer months).  Totally and completely booked all summer.  We even have a reception here this evening (9/13/13).  Best wedding booking for the year in 4 or 5 years.

Many grooms are opting for no tux/no suit...just shirt and tie.  Perhaps Mr Ewert should look at wedding trends, as it is a significant portion of the business they are paying him quite a lot to run.

Sep 13, 2013 6:28PM
Point the finger in any direction you want too.  But the fact of the matter is you lost your biggest sales advantage when you and Zimmer parted ways.  If you have a brain in your head, bury the hatchet and bring your biggest and most successful marketer, Mr. Zimmer back.  Even if it is on a trial basis, you will see an immediate and pronounced increase in sales.  Otherwise, good luck to you.  It's women's fault....pffff.  Who are you trying to kid??????? 
Yeah, get rid of the founder and blame superstition for falling sales! Because, men just wouldn't have any loyalty to Zimmer, huh?! Another CEO screw-up for which they refuse to accept responsibility. Let them go bankrupt!
Sep 13, 2013 6:21PM
What an idiot!  This is the one who should have been canned.  When they dumped George Zimmer, the face and soul of Men's Wearhouse, they lost me as a customer - sounds like they lost a lot of people like me.  But numbnuts Ewert can't admit his stupidity, so the huge drop is women scared of the number 13!  As I said, what an idiot.
Sep 13, 2013 4:53PM
What a LAME excuse...may as well blame it on George Bush, idiots.
Sep 13, 2013 6:37PM
Once they threw Zimmer out they decided to go with high-end and high-priced stuff.  No wonder they lost their market share.  MW was always the place to go for inexpensive, good-looking clothes but the new execs decided that trying to sell expensive stuff might make them more money.  Guess they learned, right George? 
Sep 13, 2013 4:46PM
This article makes absolutely no sense.  If you said a 4th grader wrote it I would believe it.
Sep 13, 2013 4:35PM
I'd rather wear a Canadian tuxedo than any tuxedo from Men's Wearhouse.
Sep 13, 2013 6:23PM
2013...OF COURSE!!!  And here I was feeling limited to choosing between sunspot activity and continental drift.  You go Doug Ewert, you go guy.
Sep 13, 2013 6:13PM
If the women are exerting influence, it must be for the shabby treatment of George Zimmer. Me? I understand the difference between business and emotions, that is why I rented 3 suits to lay my uncles to rest in, They couldn't afford to buy the suits.
Sep 13, 2013 6:28PM
Does Mr. Ewert believe that women are the only ones getting married, or are men somehow involved also?  (Except for lesbian couples, that is.)  Perhaps fewer men are interested in getting married due to job troubles with the whole recession thing going on; or because our society glorifies the idea of the slutty, never married man-boy Charlie Harper character in" Two and Half Men" while happily-married men are portrayed as boring since the lack of conflict and drama does not make for a good Hollywood story.  But even if what Ewert said were true, then wouldn't there still be a run on men's suits due to all the states now legalizing same-sex marriage?  If both spouses are grooms, then they would be buying twice as many suits for their weddings as straight couples.  So perhaps the problem with his business' droopy bottom line is its own bad behavior toward its long time well-known figure head, but of course he would rather blame it on fictional superstition of all women than accept responsibility for his own actions.  Just like some men believe rape is caused by women being too attractive for men to resist having sex with them against their will.   
Sep 13, 2013 6:34PM
Yes, I absolutely hate it when my husband dresses in suits or nice clothes because he looks like a slob in such clothes. I prefer him looking sleek and dapper and handsome in sweatpants, holey jeans, and pants that hang way past his buttocks. That's why I don't let him shop at MW. I prefer him to shop at Thug Wearhouse.
Sep 13, 2013 6:21PM
It could be that fewer men are in need of a suit since we don't wear them unless we must. Like for a nice tidy white collar job. Unfortunately most of those are now in China along with the factories that used to be here. I don't recall the last time I needed a suit. In fact I don't own one since I don't have any occasions that require one.
Sep 13, 2013 5:36PM
Someone got paid to write this grade school written story?
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