Merry-Go-Round officer joins Jos. Bank Tworecke named VP for merchandising


From the rollicking teen-age fashions of bankrupt Merry-Go-Round Enterprises Inc., executive Frank Tworecke has landed on his feet with a top position at Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., the tradition-bound retailer for grown-ups.

Bank confirmed yesterday that Mr. Tworecke has been named executive vice president in charge of merchandising.

Mr. Tworecke, who had been president of the Merry-Go-Round stores division since Aug. 1, 1994, began his new job at Bank on Monday, three days after Merry-Go-Round announced it was going out of business.

"He's a very highly qualified merchant in our particular niche of the business," said Timothy F. Finley, Bank's chairman and chief executive officer.

"We're thrilled to death. We've been looking for a person of this caliber for some time."

Mr. Tworecke, a veteran retailer with a reputation as a strong merchandiser, is not expected to make drastic fashion changes at Bank.

Rather, Mr. Finley said, he should "stabilize" a position that has been in flux for more than a year.

Last March, Henry "Chick" Schwartz was removed as president and chief merchandising officer while the Hampstead-based company was grappling with uneven sales and a falling stock price. Mr. Schwartz formally retired last week but will remain on Bank's board of directors, Mr. Finley said.

Mr. Tworecke's arrival was grounded in a friendly relationship with Mr. Finley dating back a year, sources said, but the two did not earnestly discuss a move until about three weeks ago.

"I feel great about it," Mr. Tworecke, 49, said from his new Bank office. "It's a company that has a very specific niche in the marketplace. It gives customers an enormous amount of value for what they're purchasing."

He declined to disclose his salary.

Before joining Merry-Go-Round, Mr. Tworecke spent four years as a senior vice president and general merchandise manager in charge of men's, young men's and children's goods for Federated Department Stores Inc.'s Lazarus division, a 50-store, $1.3 billion chain based in Cincinnati.

Earlier, he worked at Lord & Taylor, John Wanamaker department stores in Philadelphia and ran his own small chain of boutiques in strip shopping centers called the Oxford Blue Sweater Co., also in Philadelphia.

Shortly after Mr. Tworecke arrived at Merry-Go-Round, he was given the added responsibilities of running other company holdings. In August, after Richard P. Crystal was installed as the retailer's new chief executive officer, Mr. Tworecke's duties were cut back to the Merry-Go-Round division.

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