December 15, 2009, 12:00 AM

The Men’s Wearhouse will take the web more seriously

Though it’s been selling online for a decade, The Men’s Wearhouse will make a deeper commitment to e-commerce and social networking. MensWearhouse.com now generates annual sales of about $10 million, CEO George Zimmer recently told analysts.

Though it’s been selling online for a decade, The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. will make a deeper commitment to e-commerce and social networking, CEO George Zimmer told Wall Street analysts on the company’s recent third-quarter earnings call.

The web is still a small portion of the apparel retailer’s total revenue base: MensWearhouse.com now generates annual sales of about $10 million, which would have been about 0.5% of total 2008 sales of about $1.92 billion, the company says. But online customer expectations, and visitor traffic, are growing. “Our e-commerce site traffic and business is surging,” Zimmer told analysts. “As a technology Luddite, I accept responsibility for the lateness in aggressively entering into Internet marketing and social networking. It will not happen again.”

In 2010, The Men’s Wearhouse, No. 393 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide (a PDF version of the company’s financial and operating profile can be ordered by clicking on its name) says its e-commerce channel will also outperform the top stores among its base of 1,274 locations. “Next year our web site will do more volume than any Men`s Wearhouse store,” Zimmer told analysts. “It will be close to $10 million.”

The Men’s Wearhouse doesn’t break out quarterly web sales or Internet statistics, but the number of monthly visits to MensWearhouse.com has grown 18.5% to 661,000 this year from 558,000 in 2008, according to web traffic measurement firm Nielsen Online.

In the third quarter ended Oct. 31:

  • Total sales increased slightly to $462.0 million from $459.7 million.
  • Comparable-store sales declined 0.2%.

For the first three quarters:

  • Total revenue decreased 2.7% to $1.45 billion from $1.49 billion.
  • Comparable-store sales declined 3%.

 

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