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Men's Wearhouse Interest Declines on Zimmer Exit

Consumer research firm YouGov disclosed results showing a steep decline in “purchase consideration” for MW among consumers aged 18 to 34.

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ZIMMER ON SIMMER: Whatever boardroom battles might have preceded founder and longtime ad pitchman George Zimmer’s surprise ouster as executive chairman of The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. last Wednesday, the body of evidence that the retailer needs to do some updating — and quickly — has continued to grow in the days since.

On Friday, consumer research firm YouGov disclosed results showing a steep decline in “purchase consideration” for Men’s Wearhouse among consumers aged 18 to 34, while the numbers among older consumers held steady. In December, 25 percent of the younger respondents indicated they would consider the retailer if they were looking to purchase clothing and apparel, comfortably above the 18 percent who said they’d consider its competitors. The Men’s Wearhouse number has declined more than half in the last seven months and now stands at 11 percent, below that of the rivals, who have fallen to 14 percent. Men’s Wearhouse maintains its dominance with the older demographic with about a two-point edge, 17 to 15.

The quest for Millennial customers has led Men’s Wearhouse to review its advertising, which revolves around Zimmer and his guarantee that “you’re going to like the way you look.”

Ted Marzilli, senior vice president and global managing director of YouGov BrandIndex, said the drop was “certainly not unprecedented, but in the context of its competitors it is statistically significant.” YouGov’s data is based on responses from more than 1.5 million U.S. shoppers.