Retail brand Brooks Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday and is searching for a buyer, CNBC reported. Brooks Brothers is one of the country's oldest retailers, having been founded in 1818, and is best known for its polos and prepster attire. Rent had become a burden for the iconic retailer, and the disruption from the coronavirus pandemic expedited a sales process that started in 2019. According to CNBC, Brooks Brothers has attracted interest from potential buyers, including Authentic Brands. However, many buyers would prefer to acquire Brooks Brothers with less stores.
Currently, Brooks Brothers has more than 500 stores worldwide and employs 4,025 people. In early April, the retailer began to discuss which of its 250 North American stores it would close permanently, after already deciding to close about 51 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Most of the store closures have already begun, CNBC reported, and Brooks Brothers is moving forward with plans to reopen the majority of the stores it had to temporarily close due to the pandemic.
Total Retail's Take: As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact many industries, more retailers are unfortunately having to make the tough decision to file for bankruptcy. Brooks Brothers joins Lucky Brand, GNC, Tuesday Morning and many other retailers that have turned to Chapter 11 for protection during the pandemic. As one of the nation's oldest clothing brands, Brooks Brothers has historically dressed 40 U.S. presidents over the years. In its search for a potential buyer, Brooks Brothers is looking for a partner that aligns with the apparel brand's core values, culture, and ambitions. Hopefully, the right buyer exists and comes forward in a timely manner to keep this historic brand alive.
Ashley Chiaradio is the Senior Content Strategist at Total Retail. Ashley has been creating content for more than 7 years, and provides a unique insight in covering the retail industry having worked directly for retailers in the past. She’s passionate about profiling women leadership in the space.