Brooks Brothers files for bankruptcy, closing more than 25% of stores
NEW YORK — Brooks Brothers, the 200-year-old company that dressed nearly every U.S. president, filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday, the latest major clothing seller to be toppled by the pandemic.
Founded in New York in 1818, Brooks Brothers survived two world wars, the Great Depression and even managed to stay afloat as dress standards eased in the office. But the pandemic pushed it into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Brooks Brothers will permanently close more than a quarter of its 200 stores. It said Wednesday that it will continue operations as it restructures and is looking to reopen shops that are not being closed permanently. The company employed 4,000 people in March, before it furloughed about a third of its workers.
Jonathan Pasternak, a bankruptcy lawyer at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron, said that even before the pandemic, Brooks Brothers’ store expansion and the cost of making clothes in the U.S. had created a financial burden, but he does not believe the company will disappear.
“The good thing about Brooks Brothers: It’s a very strong brand,” he said.