Brooks Brothers files bankruptcy to aid sale

Brooks Brothers, the United States’ oldest men’s apparel company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware on Wednesday.

The retailer, which has been in business since 1818, said the move is intended to facilitate a sale and that it plans to secure $75 million from WHP Global in support funds.

Brooks Brothers said it will maintain operating online and re-open most businesses that were closed recently by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Prior to COVID-19, we were already conducting an evaluation of various strategic options to position the company for future success in a rapidly transforming retail environment, including a potential sale of the business. Industry headwinds were only intensified by the pandemic,” Brooks Brothers CEO Claudio Del Vecchio said in a statement.

Brooks Brothers, which has more than 500 stores worldwide, said it had previously been planning to close 51 stores in North America.

Wednesday’s bankruptcy follows similar moves recently by retailers Neiman Marcus, J.Crew and JC Penney.

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