Brooks Brothers Readies For Bankruptcy

Brooks Brothers Readies For Bankruptcy

Brooks Brothers is in talks with banks about securing cash for a potential bankruptcy that could come within weeks, as COVID-19 has crushed sales for the 202-year-old retailer, sources told CNBC.

In April, Bloomberg News reported that Brooks Brothers the retailer was for sale. “In the ordinary course of business, Brooks Brothers consistently explores various strategic options to position the company for growth and success,” a spokesperson told the news service.

While a potential sale is still on the table, bankruptcy is an option for Brooks Brothers. Claudio Del Vecchio, Brooks Brothers’ CEO, told The New York Times that he was not eager to consider a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, but would not rule it out.

Brooks Brothers, which calls itself the nation’s oldest clothing retailer, has been crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already driven RTW Retailwinds Inc., the parent company of New York & Co., J. Crew, Neiman Marcus and JCPenney, to consider bankruptcy.

Most chain stores have closed due to orders from governors. As of Friday (June 5), 108,664 people in the U.S. have died from the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Brooks Brothers previously enlisted an investment bank, P.J. Solomon, to look into a possible sale or bankruptcy.

Brooks Brothers has 250 stores in the U.S. and more than 250 locations internationally, according to its website. Henry Sands Brooks opened the first store in 1818 at Cherry and Catherine Streets in Manhattan, CNBC reported. The company said it has outfitted 40 presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.