Businessmen around the world are crying right now. Brooks Brothers have filed for bankruptcy; the company now seeks a buyer as it plans to close dozens of stores.
The well-respected brand was founded in 1818. After all these years, it was the coronavirus that took it down. The company filed for bankruptcy in early July.
It’s shocking how much one year of sales can affect a company. The retailer generated more than $991 million in sales, only last year! Brooks Brothers have over 700 stores: 200 in North America and 500 abroad.
CNBC referred to Brooks Brothers as the “pioneer of the polo and uniform of the polished preparer” and I can’t say I disagree. The company even brags that it has dressed over 40 presidents! Talk about a prestigious brand.
However, rent became too heavy a burden after the downward spiral of sales during the pandemic.
A spokesperson for the retailer said: “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. During this strategic review, COVID-19 became immensely disruptive and took a toll on our business.”
Hope is still aflame for Brooks Brothers, though. Potential acquirers are indeed interested (for instance, Authentic Brands). Yet, many of these potentials would only seek to acquire Brooks Brothers if the brand had fewer stores. Many of the store closures, though, have already begun — and started as early as April.
“We are in the process of identifying the right owner, or owners, to lead our iconic Brooks Brothers brand into the future. It is critical that any potential buyer aligns with our core values, culture, and ambitions. Further details on the sale process will be made in the coming days,” the spokesperson continued.
Brooks Brothers are just another retailer to bite the dust. Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, J.C. Penny, Pier 1 Imports have filed for bankruptcy as well. If all of these huge retailers are broke, just imagine what your small, local business is going through.
Shop local, shop big, just keep these businesses in business!