Even if workers could head to the office right now, chances are they wouldn’t be wearing a Brooks Brothers suit. The 200-plus-year-old retailer best known for what would now be considered formal office attire has filed for bankruptcy, falling victim to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has shuttered stores and stymied retail, and changing styles.
Brooks Brothers had fallen on rough times even before the pandemic, announcing last year that it would explore its strategic options. It now has a $75 million debtor-in-possession loan and there is interest from a potential buyer, Barneys New York owner Authentic Brands LLC, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Brooks Brothers has tried to inject some freshness and a more laid-back vibe into its fashions, with “cool & casual” styles currently featured on its e-commerce homepage. However, the “casualization” of the workplace has outpaced the change at the iconic brand.