Brooks Brothers seeks bankruptcy protection amid pandemic

BBC – Brooks Brothers, one of America’s oldest clothing brands, has become the latest US retailer to file for bankruptcy protection.

The menswear company, which is more than 200 years old, sought court protection from creditors on Wednesday while it looks for a buyer.

It had already shut some stores and prepared to close its US factories.

Known for its suits, it joins J Crew, JC Penney and Neiman Marcus as a business casualty of the pandemic.

The company dates back to 1818 and its clothes have been worn by dozens of US presidents, including John F Kennedy and Barack Obama.

It operates about 500 stores globally, roughly half of which are in the US, and employs more than 4,000 people.

Since 2001, it has been owned by Italian businessman Claudio Del Vecchio, whose family founded Luxottica. It was owned by Marks & Spencer between 1988 and 2001.

The firm has struggled as more casual office attire has become the norm and online competition has increased. The sale of the business was being explored as a possibility, before the pandemic struck. The company said it expected to complete the process in the next few months.

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