Brooks Brothers might be the next major retailer to go through bankruptcy.
Authentic Brands Group and Simon Property Group are in talks to buy the chain if it files for Chapter 11, according to Bloomberg. Simon, the biggest mall landlord in the country, has a strong interest in keeping its major tenants alive, while Authentic has a history of buying established brands in tough situations.
High-end retailers like Brooks Brothers were facing a tough market even before the pandemic forced widespread store closures, with companies including Barneys New York and Dean & DeLuca filing for bankruptcy. Relaxed dress codes also hurt Brooks Brothers’ business, and the cancellation of weddings and other events this year reduced demand for formal clothing.
Brooks Brothers opened its first store in 1818 in lower Manhattan, at Catherine and Cherry streets, and British merchant Marks & Spencer bought the company in 1988. In 2002, billionaire Claudio del Vecchio purchased the brand. [Bloomberg] — Eddie Small