Apparel brand Brooks Brothers filed for bankruptcy Wednesday, as the coronavirus pandemic claimed another storied retail brand. The retailer began in 1818 and prided itself on dressing 40 U.S. presidents. Early to the office-casual look, it became known for its button-down oxford shirts and sports jackers. But rent had become a burden, and the pandemic torpedoed a sale process that began in 2019.
Brooks Brothers Chief Executive Claudio Del Vecchio, told The New York Times at the time that while he was not “eager” to consider a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, he would not rule it out.
It appears, despite The Fed’s massive credit easing, that no one would rescue the oldest men’s retailer and the closely-held company, which is owned by Italian businessman Claudio Del Vecchio, filed for bankruptcy protection in Wilmington, Del.
Brooks Brothers was acquired by the British retail chain Marks and Spencer Group PLC in 1988. It was sold in 2001 to Retail Brand Alliance Inc., which was controlled by Mr. Del Vecchio, whose father founded Luxottica Group SpA, the Italian eyeglass maker. It changed its name to Brooks Brothers Group Inc. in 2011.
Brooks Brothers has more than 250 stores in North America and 500 worldwide.
As Fox News notes, Brooks Brothers was facing challenges before the health crisis forced nonessential retailers to temporarily close their stores. U.S. corporations had turned increasingly casual, and fewer men were buying suits. Once people started sheltering at home, they turned to even more casual attire such as sweatpants…..[ ]
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