Men’s Wearhouse Earnings Call INSIGHTS: SG&A Guidance, Outlet Business

On Thursday, Men’s Wearhouse (NYSE:MW) reported its second quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call. Take a look.

SG&A Guidance

Brian Tunick – JPMorgan: I guess two questions. First, the SG&A guidance looks like it’s been taken up from previous guidance and it looks like advertising, I think was up 20% in Q2. So just wondering if we should expect a similar rate going forward as you invest in driving traffic and sort of have you changed some of your BOGO advertising plans? Then the second question would be sort of on the David’s Bridal acquisition by a private equity firm. We are wondering if that at all changes your relationship or the leave ins that you have in the Tux rental business?

Diana M. Wilson – EVP, Interim CFO, Treasurer and Principal Financial Officer: Let me address your SG&A question first on the guidance. We are anticipating some increases in our SG&A expenses primarily related to advertising as well as payroll related costs connected to our increased sales expectations and the growth is in line we believe with our sales, but we’re still getting leverage off of the SG&A increases.

Douglas S. Ewert – President and CEO: Brian, I’ll address the David’s Bridal, we have a long-term contract and relationship with David’s Bridal, which I think is very much a win-win relationship for both organizations and we’re looking forward to working with our new partners there.

Outlet Business

Richard Jaffe – Stifel Nicolaus: Just a quick follow-up on Outlet business and how that’s going to compare to your full price business, will that be more of an everyday low price, but with the same level of service? Could you comment about e-commerce it was an opportunity that you discussed in prior calls and have been investing and I haven’t heard much about it today, and lastly, product cost, the changes we’ve seen over the last year with cost increasing and now seem to be pulling back how that’s affecting your costs and maybe outlook for margin as well?

Douglas S. Ewert – President and CEO: Good morning Richard. First of all with Outlet’s we see the opportunity to establish our price points competitive with the discount department store and outlet chain, so for example suits, you’ll see average out the door prices around $150 and so on throughout the rest of the categories. As far as e-commerce goes it continues to be a significant growth opportunity and focus for us as an organization we are making investments in new platforms and richer functionality and mobile functionality, trying to create a multi-channel experience that really delivers on the brand reputation of the Men’s Wearhouse, and I will point out that our stores have really embraced our web business and are driving a significant amount of it through some functionality that we have in place in stores that allows them to add e-commerce product to in-store transactions and get combined commission on that transaction and that is really helping to drive a significant amount of our e-commerce revenue. Then finally costs, we see input costs leveling out and actually starting to abate a little bit in the back half of this year and then it will continue to abate next year. This year, we’ll mostly experience it in cotton products, and to remind you we hedged in wool. So, we already have some pretty favorable costing in wool relative to the market and then next year will start to see wool prices come down.

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