Even if workers could head to the office right now, chances are they wouldn’t be wearing a Brooks Brothers suit. The 200-plus-year-old retailer best known for what would now be considered formal office attire has filed for bankruptcy, falling victim to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has shuttered stores and stymied retail, and changing styles.
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Brooks Brothers had fallen on rough times even before the pandemic, announcing last year that it would explore its strategic options. It now has a $75 million debtor-in-possession loan and there is interest from a potential buyer, Barneys New York owner Authentic Brands LLC, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Brooks Brothers has tried to inject some freshness and a more laid-back vibe into its fashions, with “cool & casual” styles currently featured on its e-commerce homepage. However, the “casualization” of the workplace has outpaced the change at the iconic brand.