(Photo courtesy marketwatch.com)
Brooks Brothers has clothed titans of American business, 40 US presidents, and countless frat bros.
And now, they have officially filed for bankruptcy.
Yep, you guessed it. It’s because of the pandemic. The 202-year old company that once clothed Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt has filed for Chapter 11 as the rise of work-from-home sent demand for suits plummeting. Who even wears pants anymore?
But Brooks Brothers was struggling even before the pandemic hit. “Although the pandemic has severely eroded the outlook for the business, Brooks Brothers has long suffered from a failure to decisively adapt to changing trends,” said Neil Saunders, the managing director of GlobalData Retail. “When it comes to tastes and style, Brooks Brothers has been swimming against the tide.”
Americans have been steadily shifting away from pinstripes and button-downs and towards athleisure and fast fashion, and Brooks Brothers has failed to keep pace.
- The US men’s suit market shrank 8%from 2015 to 2019 while the sports apparel market grew 17% over the same period
Now, it’s casual ~~Friday~~ everyday.
Still, “bankrupt” does not mean “gone forever.” Brooks Brothers secured $75 million in financing and is seeking a buyer. But for now, it looks like Brooks Brothers have to move back in with Brooks Parents.