Lose your job, your suit is free!

March 17, 2009


JoS. A. Bank Free Suit Offer Made for Tough Times 3/17/09


JoS. A. Bank has the promotion for you if you’re among those trying to put your best look forward at work or if you’re interviewing for a new job. The company’s new “$199 Sale” comes with a unique guarantee. If you buy a suit from the retailer and subsequently lose your job, the chain will refund your purchase price and let you keep the suit on top of it.  Details here.

R. Neal Black, CEO of the men’s clothing retailer, said in a press release, “We understand the uncertainty everyone is facing. We want to help the customer look good at work, and if he loses his job, to be dressed appropriately as he meets with his next employer. It’s like giving all of our customers a bit of unemployment insurance.”

The special promotion applies to any suit or suit jacket/pants combination purchased from March 16 through April 9, 2009. If the customer involuntarily loses his job between April 16 and July 1, JoS. A. Bank will refund the price paid for the suit, up to a maximum of $199. The company will require documentation of a job loss to evaluate any refund requests.

Discussion questions:  What do you think of JoS. A. Bank’s “unemployment insurance” offer? Will it drive additional sales? Will we see others following this example during the downturn?

My post: 

I have known CEO Neil Black for years and I am not surprised to see him once again knowing how to effectively speak to his customer base.  Yes, the promotion is a bit silly, and borrows from other’s ideas (Hyundai, etc.).  But it nails the current market psychology and press sound bites:  the economy sucks, people are losing their jobs left and right, people are scared, etc. etc.  The promotion shows that they get it, they are listening, and they are positioned as a value retailer to be helpful for a product that the consumer needs but may be scared to spend on.  At a time when most retail stocks are in terrible shape, JoS. A. Bank (JOSB) is performing well over their peers and is up 8% YTD.  Mr. Black, keep the promos coming!

Mike Osorio, your Dare to be Contagious! TM strategist


What do you think?  Please add your comments and add to the discussion!

Go to the full discussion at RetailWire.com:


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