The Men's Wearhouse Inc. hired a business advisory firm to help it merge with Hampstead-based Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. once it acquires the rival retailer in a $1.8 billion deal announced earlier this month.

The firm, AlixPartners, will help Men's Wearhouse find ways to streamline purchasing, customer service, marketing and corporate functions of the two chains to save an estimated $100 million to $150 million a year.

Doug Ewert, Men's Wearhouse president and CEO, reiterated the company's earlier plans to retain Jos. A. Bank stores under a separate banner.

The merger will create a $3.5 billion men's retailer that is expected to better compete with department stores and online retailers.

Lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com