Elbert 0. Hand, chairman
and chief executive officer of Hartmarx, commented, “Our non-tailored clothing
offerings represented about 28% of total second quarter sales and this year
grew more than 9%. These products, which include casual businesswear, sportswear
and womenswear, largely offset the anticipated reduction in lower-margin moderate-priced
tailored clothing products. The current variable dress code environment has
enhanced interest and sales of blazers, sport coats, separates and dress slacks.
The increased sales contribution from higher margin products also helped to
continue our progress toward our long-term goal of exceeding a 27% consolidated
gross margin rate. Overall, gross margins were 27.2% of sales in the quarter,
compared to 26.0% last year.
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