It was already a known fact that the brand’s accounts were not in balance: while having a 1.1 billion dollars turnover, the debt framework amounts to 600 million dollars. But now that the virus is overwhelming Brooks Brothers, the US fashion brand is in the eye of the hurricane. As WWD reports, the company announced the likely closure of the last three factories in the States. With the paradox that one of the most long-lived stars and stripes brands would break the ties with motherland in the Trumpian reshoring season. But Brooks Brothers, which has been headed by Claudio Del Vecchio since 2001, could also lose its Italian profile: ownership could change.
The virus overwhelms Brooks Brothers
The decision is almost final. Brooks Brothers announces the closure of the Long Island City, Garland and Haverhill production plants. The textile-clothing factories, which employ around 600 workers overall, will be closed by the end of summer. But it is not said the last word. “We are exploring the various options for the growth and success of the brand – replies a spokesman to WWD -. We have given the communication so that the staff can prepare for any eventual job loss. But the plants are very significant for our heritage. All alternative possibilities are on the table. We are studying them”.
News for Brooks Brothers would not end here. The property dates back to Del Vecchio since 2001, which bought the brand from Marks & Spencer for 225 million dollars in 2001. The Italian patron, Leonardo’s son, had the historical merit of expanding the brand’s product range, as well as its markets. But the Italian season would be nearing its end. In 2018, WWD recalls, rumours were chasing about the sale. Despite the denials, in the autumn of 2019 the task of looking for a buyer is entrusted to PJ Solomon Investment Bank. The pandemic has also distorted the possibility of dealing the transfer in the best possible conditions. For this reason Brooks Brothers, who finds himself less American and less Italian, would also have considered recourse to Chapter 11.
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