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Men’s Wearhouse completes acquisition of Jos. A. Banks

BY Marianne Wilson

Fremont, Calif. — The Men’s Wearhouse has completed its acquisition of one-time-rival Jos. A. Bank Clothiers. The combined company has more than 1,700 stores, approximately 26,000 employees and sales of $3.5 billion on a pro forma basis.

The final price tag to combine the two retailers was $1.8 billion, or $65 per share.

"We are thrilled to have closed on the acquisition of Jos. A. Bank and are eager to begin the integration process with their talented employees to create a truly great company for all of our stakeholders,” said Doug Ewert, president and CEO of Men’s Wearhouse. "Looking forward, our strong balance sheet provides operational flexibility to successfully execute strategic plans at both brands. We continue to expect this acquisition to be accretive to our earnings in the first full year of operations as well as to achieve $100 million to $150 million of run-rate synergies by the end of fiscal 2016.”

Following the merger, Jos. A. Bank shares will cease to be traded on the Nasdaq Global Market.

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Kroger to withdraw from two pension funds; incur $56 million charge

BY Marianne Wilson

Cincinnati — Kroger Co. on Wednesday said it plans to withdraw from two multi-employer pension funds and will incur a charge of $56 million in the first quarter as it contributes that amount to restructure its pension obligations. The move is in line with the retailer’s desire to exert more control over employee-retirement programs.

"We are pleased to have reached agreements to help secure pension benefits that more than 2,000 associates have earned and to provide a future benefit that is competitive and affordable," said Mike Schlotman, CFO. "We intend to continue looking for opportunities to leverage our strong financial flexibility to safeguard our associates’ benefits, increase certainty and control over future pension obligations, and continue delivering strong shareholder value."

The funds are the Washington Meat Industry Pension Trust, and The Pace Industry Union-Management Pension Fund.

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Family Dollar names new merchandising exec

BY CSA STAFF

Jeffrey Thomas was elevated to the role of SVP of merchandise operations at Family Dollar as the retailer looks to reignite sales under the leadership of chief merchandising officer Jason Reiser.

Thomas previously served as vp of merchant services and fill a position previously held by Scott Zucker who left the company. Thomas will report to Jason Reiser, Family Dollar’s EVP and chief merchandising officer.

“For more than 54 years, our merchandise operations team has focused on providing the items our customers want and need at great everyday prices,” Reiser said. “Jeff’s supply chain, logistics and replenishment experience along with his proven leadership skills will ensure that we continue to bring value and convenience to customers at each of our more than 8,100 stores across the country.”

Thomas joined Family Dollar in 2003 as a director of vendor performance with responsibility for item data integrity and vendor relationships. Between 2005 and 2013 he assumed greater roles with increased responsibilities and was named vp of merchant services. He holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of Tennessee.

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