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Men's Wearhouse's Q1 benefits from earlier Easter

FREMONT — Net sales at Men's Wearhouse's flagship brand stores got off to a slow start, but clothing and tuxedo revenues picked up, allowing the company to see total net sales of $617 million for the first quarter ended May 4, an increase of 5% from $587 million for the quarter last year.  

The company reported net earnings of $33 million for the quarter, a 23% increase from $27 million for the quarter a year ago. The company's retail segment sales for the quarter increased by 4.4% and corporate apparel sales increased by 13% compared to the prior-year quarter.

"Net sales at our core flagship brand Men's Wearhouse stores, which represented 65% of our total first quarter sales, got off to a slow start in February and were comping negatively until about President's weekend. After that we began to pick up in both clothing sales and tuxedo revenues," said president and CEO Doug Ewert.

Men's Wearhouse sales were up 8.2% over last year's first quarter sales, and comparable store sales increased 1.6%. The higher margin tuxedo rental revenues comparable store sales increased 6.5% in the first quarter of 2013, driven mainly by the Easter holiday shift allowing for an earlier prom season that increased rental rates, unit rentals and sales of tuxedo accessories.

Moores, the Canadian retail brand, was 9% of the total first quarter sales and had a comparable store sales decrease of 7% due mainly to decreased average transactions per store and units sold per transaction. K&G was 16% of the company's total first quarter sales with a comparable store sales decrease of 6.7%, with lower average transactions per store and units sold per transaction offsetting an increase in average unit retails.  

"The decrease in the K&G comps was in-line with internal expectations for the quarter. However, the Moores sales were below internal expectations as we are facing headwinds in Canada," added Ewert.

The Corporate Apparel segment, which represented 9% of total first quarter sales, had a sales increase of 13% due mainly to a higher level of customer-directed new uniform rollouts.