Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Brooks Brothers reportedly seeking a buyer

As uncertainty related to the Covid-19 crisis continues, historied American fashion brand Brooks Brothers, Inc. is reportedly looking for a buyer, having extended a sale process that was initially set in motion at the end of last year.

According to a report published by Business of Fashion, people familiar with the matter said that the potential transaction could be part of a bankruptcy filing, depending on the number of stores that the buyer wanted to take on.

Brooks Brothers has approximately $600 million in debt, and many of its close to 250 U.S.-based stores had, according to the sources, already been struggling before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite this, the company has apparently received interest from possible buyers.

“In the ordinary course of business, Brooks Brothers consistently explores various strategic options to position the company for growth and success,” said a Brooks Brothers representative in an email sent to BoF, adding that the company has “nothing to announce at this time.”

With coronavirus restrictions now gradually being lifted by a number of U.S. states, retailers will be keen to get shoppers back into their reopening stores, but the mid and long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on consumer behaviour remain to be seen.

Famous for its tailored office wear, the future of Brooks Brothers will also be subject to the timing of other workplace openings, as well as to whatever changes in office attire that might occur in the health crisis’ aftermath.

Indeed, a recent study from Nordstrom Trunk Club found that 77% of Americans currently working from home because of the pandemic believe that lockdown will lead to style changes in their workplaces when they reopen, with more than one in three people hoping to return to work in more comfortable clothing.

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