Getting Fired? Hurry, Buy This Suit

| Say you’ve just bought a new suit to spruce yourself up on the job. The next morning, your boss calls you into his office, compliments you on your fashionable duds, and with a heavy heart, lays you off. To address this very situation, the Jos. A. Bank menswear chain is running a “Risk Free Suit” promotion. Buy a suit now and if you’re fired by July 1, 2009, Bank will refund your money. You can keep the suit. This is just another story suggesting that American capitalism is in the throes of a Great Giveback; it’s also another suit-bargain dilemma for Dan Hamermesh. (HT: Peter Houston) [%comments]

Eric M. Jones

Seems like Joseph A. Banks Co. could get scammed pretty easily and have to give away a lot of suits. Still they might have calculated that this offer will entice people to come in to buy a suit or buy a more expensive suit. So they will probably win in the long run.

Garrett Pendergast

This is a great promotion for Banks. Even at 10% unemployment the downside is relativly small and the press ( obsolete term?) frist class


Jos. A. Bank has a pretty weird business model. They realized that traditional menswear changes extremely little in any given year, and my understanding is that they'll keep unsold suits in inventory essentially forever as a result. Because of this, they have a massive inventory compared to most clothing retailers, and this is one of the reasons that everything is always on sale. That said, the costs of keeping a suit in inventory are pretty low, because suits are fairly durable, easy to store and really aren't in danger of becoming obsolete. As long as they're covering the manufacturing costs they're probably making a profit.

As a result, I don't think they're going to get too badly burned by this. Let's face it guys, do you really think a two button grey suit is going to become unwearably out of style? Worst comes to worst, they get a lot of suits returned, throw them back into the lockers and sell them when the economy turns around.



While storage and fashion may not be an issue for Jos. A. Banks, they can't just sell the returned suits as new because I imagine quite a few of them will have been altered to fit the unemployed, original owner.


I think the two posts above have slightly missed the point that Jos. A. Banks does not receive any suits back in this deal. Reselling them is not even an option. I do, however, agree that Banks' enormous inventories enable this strange marketing.


Great marketing plan. Since you need several documents actually proving your unemployment (employer papers, state unemployment application, etc.) to qualify for the rebate, I don't think scamming will be widespread. And since an already altered suit is pretty much useless to Jos. A Banks, it seems to be a winning situation for the store.


Regardeing the buy one get one free suit dilemma, last time I bought a suit at Jos A Banks, when I picked up the suit post-tailoring, the store was holding a buy one get two free sale. I hadn't paid yet, so I insisted I was entitled to the deal. But to get two free, I had to pay full price for the most expensive suit. Mine was already priced half off. I certainly wasn't going to pay two-times the original price just to get two suits for free (basically buy two get one free). And for those people participating in the sale, it is probably pretty hard to find three suits that you will actually wear, and not have at least one of them be grossly overpriced--so that you pay way more than you wanted for one suit, justified by the fact that you get something for free.

Also, both Jos A Banks and Mens Wearhouse have sales of different flavours every week (buy one get one free one week, everything half off the next week).



Interesting that Jos. A. Banks believes there's a possibility of "declared or undeclared war" by July 9th, thereby nullifying the deal.