Iconic Retailer Brooks Brothers Files For Bankruptcy

Brooks Brothers, the oldest apparel brand in continuous operation in the United States, has filed for bankruptcy.

The retailer, which has been in operation since 1818, has succumbed to the coronavirus pandemic and years of faltering sales as customers embraced more casual apparel and sales moved online.

The company, based in New York City, filed for Chapter 11 protection from its creditors in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Brooks Brothers said in a written statement that the bankruptcy filing would allow it to obtain additional financing and seek a sale.

Brooks Brothers is the latest high-profile retailer to file for bankruptcy during the global pandemic. Since May, major brands such as J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and J.Crew have all been pushed into Chapter 11 proceedings.

Brooks Brothers said it had decided to close 51 U.S. stores out of its roughly 250 locations in North America. Earlier this year, Brooks Brothers said it would close its three factories in the United States spurring concern about the future of the brand.

For decades, Brooks Brothers was synonymous with professional American men's wear. Its preppy clothes were symbols of what became known as "Ivy League style."