Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY
Published 8:58 a.m. ET July 8, 2020
As retailers and others try to stay viable during the COVID-19 pandemic, they’re hoping steps like cleaning during store hours, offering hand sanitizer and other safety measures will bring back customers to what has become shopping’s new normal. (July 6)
Luxury apparel retailer Brooks Brothers – which survived the Civil War, the Great Depression, World War II and the Great Recession – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday as it tries to survive the retail industry’s turmoil amid digital transformation and the coronavirus pandemic.
Founded by Henry Sands Brooks in 1818, Brooks Brothers requested protection from its creditors with a bankruptcy filing in Delaware.
The company joins a rapidly growing list of retailers that have stumbled into bankruptcy in the midst of the wreckage of COVID-19, which temporarily shuttered stores due to health concerns. Others recently filing for bankruptcy have included J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus, J. Crew and Chuck E. Cheese.
Brooks Brothers representatives did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment Wednesday.
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The company is already closing about 51 of its 250 North American stores, according to CNBC. It has about 500 worldwide and about 4,000 employees.
Brooks Brothers introduced the button-down polo shirt in 1896 and later became known for its high-end men’s clothing, including suits and ties.
The company, which made uniforms for the U.S. military during the Civil War, pivoted in recent months to make masks for the coronavirus pandemic.
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