Wednesday, July 8, 2020

BREAKING: Brooks Brothers Files for Bankruptcy

The COVID-19 lockdowns have taken down a men's retail clothing giant.

Brooks Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection in Wilmington, Del. this morning.

As with many of the COVID-19-related bankruptcies, BB had high levels of debt before the crisis hit and, thus, did not have a lot in terms of staying power. But make no mistake, it is the lockdowns that took it down.

Who the hell is buying office attire, when offices are closed?

The retailer, founded in 1818, pioneered ready-made suits and introduced the first button-down-collar shirt in 1896.

Brooks Brothers is expected to attract buyers for its business as part of its reorganization.



  1. They have very nice clothes, and an astute and well dressed person might find some good deals now. I have been working from home for nearly 10 years, but always shower and wear a collared shirt even if I have no video meetings. It helps me focus and not take my good fortune for granted.


    1. I've worked from home for a similar amount of time, yet I always enjoyed being at home on calls with fancy folk while looking like a mess. On the other hand, the lack of daily wear and tear helped me to justify buying extra nice clothing for the road. I respect your approach, though.

    2. Eric,

      Hah I totally understand. I also manage a number of remote employees. Years ago, I mandated that one of our weekly team calls be in video, to encourage broader participation. I was getting some heavy push back from a couple of guys. After some questinioning, it just turned out they didn't want to put on a collared shirt. Because I always wear one, they figured they would have to as well. I had a good laugh over that because I didn't care at all what they wore so long as there was nothing vulgar displayed.


  2. I have found over the years the quality of BB continues to go down. It's almost JOS Banks level now days( as Seinfeld would say- there is nothing wrong with that) But definitely overpriced for the quality BB was trying to sell it for.

    They also really cut into their prestige when they started doing outlet stores( people think BB outlet stores are just stuff that didn't sell in retail. In fact the outlet stores sell clothing that is specifically made for the outlet stores and it is department store quality)

    I have yet to see a luxury brand that tried to be all things to all people + rich and middle class keep their cachet as a brand whether it is BB, Joseph Abboud, Donna Karen, Polo Ralph Lauren etc-