The oldest men’s clothing company, Brooks Brothers, announced Wednesday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the economy.
The retailer that spearheaded the prepster look now loses customers as business clothes become unnecessary. With the pride of dressing 40 U.S. presidents and an infinite amount of investment bankers, the company had reached a sales deal in 2019, which was disrupted by the pandemic.
“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.
“During this strategic review, Covid-19 became immensely disruptive and took a toll on our business.”
According to CNBC there are many interested buyers, most of which prefer to acquire the company with fewer stores. After evaluating its 250 North American locations, the retailer has concluded that it will close approximately 51 stores. Many of the closures have already commenced, moving inventory to its distribution centers. Furthermore, the remaining stores previously closed due to COVID-19, will proceed to reopen.
“We are in the process of identifying the right owner, or owners, to lead our iconic Brooks Brothers brand into the future,” the spokesperson said.
“It is critical that any potential buyer aligns with our core values, culture, and ambitions. Further details on the sale process will be made available in the coming days.”
Contrary to other retail pioneers, Brooks Brothers is not folding under immense debt. The company is owned by its CEO, Claudio Del Vecchio who acquired the company in 2001.