Mens clothier Brooks Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday and said temporary store closures during theplayed a role in making the move. Brooks Brothers said it hopes filing for a Chapter 11 restructuring to unload debt, cut costs and re-emerge under new ownership will help save the 202-year-old company.
Brooks Brothers joins a long list of retailers who have filed for bankruptcy protection recently, including, and . The pandemic has decimated clothing store sales nationwide as customers have been forced to stay home in recent months.
The last thing stay-at-home workers are buying these days are the traditional corporate suits for which Brooks Brothers is famous. Brooks Brothers year-over-year sales fell 74% in April, May and June in its men’s formal division and 62% in its casual apparel division, according to GlobalData Retail.
Brooks Brothers’ outdated, conservative clothing styles also played a role in the company’s bankruptcy, GlobalData Retail Managing Director Neil Saunders said in a statement.
“Its formal, old-school approach found favor among mature and more traditional demographics, but it has become increasingly out of step with a new generation of consumers who are looking for a more edgy approach to smart casual,” Saunders said.
Brooks Brothers hopes to emerge from bankruptcy “with a new owner that has appreciation for the Brooks Brothers legacy,” CEO Claudio Del Vecchio said in a statement.