Manhattan, New York-based Brooks Brothers is the oldest men's clothier in the United States. Founded in 1818, as a family-owned, business, the privately held company is now owned by the Italian billionaire Claudio Del Vecchio.
Besides dressing 40 presidents over the years, the company has survived two world wars, the Great Depression and casual Fridays. The clothier pioneered the original button-down polo shirt, madras prints, and the chunky shetland sweater.
But like so many businesses hit by the coronavirus, including Barneys of New York, Neiman Marcus, J.Crew, and J.C. Penney, Brooks Brothers has decided to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to the Associated Press.
“Over the past year, Brooks Brothers’ board, leadership team, and financial and legal advisors have been evaluating various strategic options to position the company for future success, including a potential sale of the business,” a spokesperson for the retailer said, reports CNBC News.
“During this strategic review, Covid-19 became immensely disruptive and took a toll on our business.” The retailer, which generated more than $991 million in sales last year, has more than 200 stores in North America and 500 worldwide.
The retailer is in the process of shutting down about 20 percent of its 250 U.S. stores, and according to the bankruptcy filing, Brooks Brothers has secured $75 million in financing to continue operating, reports CNN.
Del Vecchio bought the brand in 2001 from Marks and Spencer for $225 million. Today, most Brooks Brothers clothing is now imported, but some suits, sport coats, shirts, and accessories are manufactured in the United States.
In 2017-2019, sales began to stagnate due to fashion turning more casual and online competition. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the company was further hurt financially due to the stay-at-扑克王游戏下载home mandates exercised around the country. People working from 扑克王游戏下载home went casual.
In June this year, the company proposed closing its three American factories, “a dramatic move for a brand that has really hung their hat on ‘Made in America," according to the New York Times.