Brooks Brothers files for bankruptcy, still seeking buyer

Brooks Brothers, the 202-12 months-aged men’s clothier that has dressed dozens of US presidents and many Wall Avenue bankers, filed for personal bankruptcy on Wednesday.

The storied New York-based retailer, which operates 200 retailers across the US and additional than five hundred globally, is the newest retail casualty of the coronavirus pandemic that has currently forced Neiman Marcus, JCPenney, J.Crew and others into personal bankruptcy proceedings.

The iconic brand, which popularized business-uniform staples such as striped “repp” ties and buttoned-down shirt collars, has struggled in recent years in an progressively relaxed workplace. Suits progressively have been changed by khakis, denims and hoodies.

This spring, even so, the coronavirus epidemic not only shuttered retailers but left clients hunkered down at home, doing work in sweatpants. Brooks Brothers experienced currently announced strategies to shut fifty retailers in advance of the Chapter 11 submitting.

Whilst most of its apparel is imported, Brooks Brothers is a person of the couple US chains that nevertheless helps make some of its products domestically. Past thirty day period, the enterprise it might shut its a few US factories, a person of which is in Prolonged Island City, Queens, where by it helps make its ties. The enterprise helps make its satisfies in a manufacturing facility in Haverhill, Mass. and its shirts in Garland, NC.

Owned by Italian retail tycoon Claudio Del Vecchio, the enterprise last 12 months employed investment financial institution PJ Solomon to come across a purchaser, but this spring the COVID-19 disaster threw a wrench into individuals strategies. The chain has snagged $seventy five million in financing to help it by way of the Chapter 11 method, court documents demonstrate.

“The purpose of this submitting is to acquire further financing and aid a sale method in an economical manner to maximize worth for our stakeholders and be certain that our iconic brand is positioned to keep on beneath new possession,” a enterprise spokesperson explained to The Article. “Brooks Brothers is below to keep and provide our faithful clients for years to occur.”

Founded in 1818 on Manhattan’s Reduced East Aspect, the enterprise offers of possessing outfitted 41 of 45 US presidents. Abraham Lincoln was a faithful customer, and explained to be carrying a Brooks Brothers accommodate on the night he was assassinated. Teddy and Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Invoice Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama also were customers.

Licensing company Authentic Makes Group, owner of Barneys New York, Eternally 21 and Sports Illustrated, is amid the providers hunting at buying Brooks Brothers, resources explained to The Article. But the brand faces considerable challenges, market resources say, such as its stuffy picture.

“Brooks Brothers is a good title, but it is a yesterday brand,” Craig Johnson, president of Shopper Progress Associates. “It’s a fashion assertion that is not as related to consumers currently as it was a technology ago.”

Attire makes are suffering as consumers commit less of their disposable revenue on apparel amid the pandemic. Clothes product sales are down 42 per cent 12 months to day, in accordance to CGP. Clothes accounts for just 3.eight per cent of retail investing currently compared to nine per cent in 2000.