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Nobody's safe

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Another casualty

http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/Legal/News/2012/10_-_October/Owner_of_Hickey_Freeman,_Hart_Schaffner_Marx_files_for_bankruptcy/
post #2 of 11
That's too bad. I have a few mtm Coppley suits from LS Men's in NYC. I guess I'll have to find a different brand.
post #3 of 11
This has been ongoing since 2009.
post #4 of 11
When your parent company has "Acquisition Corp" in its name and you are a retailer/manufacturer, you're days were pretty numbered to begin with.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by edmorel View Post

When your parent company has "Acquisition Corp" in its name and you are a retailer/manufacturer, you're days were pretty numbered to begin with.

No, not really. Most of these entities have an Opco-Holdco relationship, so the vast majority of acquirors buy a target via an independent "Acquisition Corp." for any tax savings via structure, basis step-up etc.

Realize that this is a boring post, but just want to highlight that the Indians buying Hickey via an "Acquisition Corp," should not imply that their intent was anything shady.
post #6 of 11
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grammaton Cleric View Post

No, not really. Most of these entities have an Opco-Holdco relationship, so the vast majority of acquirors buy a target via an independent "Acquisition Corp." for any tax savings via structure, basis step-up etc.
Realize that this is a boring post, but just want to highlight that the Indians buying Hickey via an "Acquisition Corp," should not imply that their intent was anything shady.

you misunderstood, I did not mean shady, I meant mismanaged from the perspective of building an identity for the brand/brands. What was Hickey Freeman about? Without thinking about it for a few minutes. Compare that to Ralph Lauren or even Men's Warehouse, with those two you have a very specific idea in your head about what they are selling (Ralph has multiple identities but that's a whole other thing). Was HF/Hart Schaffner high quality goods a la RL? No. Where they inexpensive a la MW? No. Did they have their Brooks history? No. Did they have a specific look/cut? No. I think successful brands have an emotional attachment with their customers, be it due to the prices, quality, looks etc. HF was about as bland, middle of the road as can be. If you took all their mainline suits and put them on the racks at JC Penney, no one would notice anything different by looking at them.

I will give them credit for Hickey and for Bobby Jones, even though they muffed up those two great ideas.
post #8 of 11
I've seen a number of companies use bankruptcy as a method of eliminating debt and then moving on. This may not be the end of HF or HSM even though the creditors get the shaft.
post #9 of 11
They've already tried to add cachet to the brand with "hickey".... failed. (To be fair, the concept was okay, but the website was awful)
Then they introduced the slim "Sterling" collection. Don't know how that turned out.

The brand is not very strong. Years ago, I think it was better. But there are many more options for tailored stuff now. Especially with European imports.

Plus, I think the name "Hickey" might sound funny to a person buying his first suit.

Last resort... they pull a "Suit Supply" and offer MTM full canvas slim suits at bargain prices? I don't think they can make suits in the US and survive on those margins.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by edmorel View Post

you misunderstood, I did not mean shady, I meant mismanaged from the perspective of building an identity for the brand/brands. What was Hickey Freeman about? Without thinking about it for a few minutes. Compare that to Ralph Lauren or even Men's Warehouse, with those two you have a very specific idea in your head about what they are selling (Ralph has multiple identities but that's a whole other thing). Was HF/Hart Schaffner high quality goods a la RL? No. Where they inexpensive a la MW? No. Did they have their Brooks history? No. Did they have a specific look/cut? No. I think successful brands have an emotional attachment with their customers, be it due to the prices, quality, looks etc. HF was about as bland, middle of the road as can be. If you took all their mainline suits and put them on the racks at JC Penney, no one would notice anything different by looking at them.
I will give them credit for Hickey and for Bobby Jones, even though they muffed up those two great ideas.

Ed - I agree completely. But, and not to be overly pedantic, I fail to see how the initial use of an Acquisition Corp should have been indicative of the subsequent mismanagement you mention above.

Pocketsquareguy - I suspect you;re right - this'll be a court-approved bankruptcy, and someone else will buy up the assets and hope to revive the company. Ed's point is important - Hickey Freeman really needs an identity if its to survive another 50 years. Being the vanilla American brand is not a viable strategy.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grammaton Cleric View Post

Ed - I agree completely. But, and not to be overly pedantic, I fail to see how the initial use of an Acquisition Corp should have been indicative of the subsequent mismanagement you mention above.


yeah, I was just being snarky. I obviously have no idea how the company was being managed and just because the official owner is an acquisition corp doesn't mean anything.
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