Majors

Brooks Brothers Latest Retailer To File Chapter 11

MajorsJul 09, 2020

Brooks Brothers Latest Retailer To File Chapter 11

The 202-year-old company, known for its classic suits, owns the Alexis Bittar and Carolee jewelry brands.

Brooks Brothers, which owns Alexis Bittar and Carolee, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday. Pictured here are Carolee earrings from the fashion jewelry brand’s fall 2018 collection.

New York—Long hurt by Casual Fridays and hampered by COVID-19 in its efforts to find a buyer, Brooks Brothers and its fashion jewelry subsidiary have filed for bankruptcy protection.

The 202-year-old company, known for its stylish suits and preppy casuals, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, with the goals of obtaining new financing and quickly finding a buyer.

“Like countless other retail companies, Brooks Brothers’ business has been impacted by significant operational and manufacturing challenges, as well as shifting retail industry trends in recent years,” said the retailer’s Chief Restructuring Officer Stephen Marotta of Ankura Consulting Group LLC in an affidavit filed Wednesday.

In 2019, Brooks Brothers began looking for a buyer or a merger opportunity but the onset of COVID-19 derailed that effort, making the storied-but-struggling retailer the latest to seek protection under Chapter 11.

“Our priority is to start this important chapter with a new owner that has appreciation for the Brooks Brothers legacy, a vision for its future, and aligns with our core values and culture,” Chairman and CEO Claudio Del Vecchio said in a company statement.

“Seeking protection to facilitate an efficient sale of the business is the best next step for the company to achieve its goals, over any other alternative.”

Brooks Brothers said it has secured commitments from investment company WHP Global for $75 million in debtor-in-possession financing, a type of financing extended to companies in distress overseen by the lender and subject to court approval.

The financing together with cash flows from ongoing operations will support it through the sale process, said the company.

The retailer is going to hold an auction where parties can submit qualified bids, and said it expects to complete the sale process in the next few months, pending court approval.


Filing alongside Brooks Brothers Group Inc. was jewelry subsidiary Deconic Group LLC, which manufactures, merchandises, markets, sells and licenses the Alexis Bittar and Carolee fashion jewelry brands.

The brands are sold online, at stores like Nordstrom and Bloomingdales, and through nine retail stores located in the Northeast, Midwest and in California. Deconic also leases an office and manufacturing facility in Brooklyn’s Industry City development and a showroom in Manhattan.

Brooks Brothers acquired Carolee LLC in 2001 and, under Carolee, Alexis Bittar in 2016. It overhauled its fashion jewelry business in 2017, relaunching as Deconic.

Deconic brought in approximately $15 million in
revenue for the fiscal year 2019, accounting for less than 2 percent of overall sales for Brooks Brothers, court papers show.

Asked about the future of Deconic, a company spokesperson noted the bankruptcy filing is “a sale process, not a liquidation of Brooks Brothers or Deconic’s brands.”

“Deconic will continue to do business as usual for the time being [and] we do not expect this to interrupt our ability to deliver the brands Alexis Bittar and Carolee,” the spokesperson said.

RELATED CONTENT: The Latest on the Neiman Marcus, JC Penney Bankruptcies

Founded in 1818 as H. & D.H. Brooks & Co. in New York, Brooks Brothers is the oldest apparel company in the United States, it noted in the bankruptcy filing.

The company operates about 425 retail and factory outlet stores worldwide, including 236 in the United States.

Like so many retailers, it closed nearly all of its stores when the pandemic hit and furloughed 2,900 of its 4,025 employees worldwide.

It said Wednesday that 51 of its 236 U.S. stores, or 22 percent, have closed or are in the process of closing permanently, while the others will reopen “as local and state public health and government officials allow and as it is economical to do so.”
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

Supplier BulletinJun 24, 2022
AGTA GemFair™ Denver is the Place to Be in September!

Sponsored by AGTA

Recorded WebinarsJun 24, 2022
Vegas Jewelry Recap: The Editors Weigh In

Watch the webinar in which National Jeweler’s editors talk about jewelry market week trends and their predictions for the rest of 2022.

CollectionsJun 24, 2022
Piece of the Week: Marie Lichtenberg’s Hidden Message Locket

It’s a reminder that life is best lived with discretion.

Brought to you by
Discover The Extraordinary Italian Jewelry In Las Vegas!

Experience all the Italian Jewelry market has to offer in Las Vegas.

TechnologyJun 24, 2022
Cloud-Based POS Software Jewel360 Launches for Jewelry Retailers

The end-to-end software allows for real-time control over all sales, inventory, repairs, customer communications, and marketing.

Weekly QuizJun 23, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
EditorsJun 23, 2022
Antique Show Observations From a First-Time Attendee

Associate Editor Lenore Fedow shares her impressions of the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show and a few of her favorite finds.

GradingJun 23, 2022
AIGS Launches Grading Report for ‘Santa Maria’ Aquamarine

The Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences aims to set a color standard for the trade name.

Brought to you by
3 Reasons to Offer Estate Buying at Your Store

Provide your customers with a seamless selling solution by partnering with Windsor Jewelers, Inc.

SourcingJun 23, 2022
Rough Diamond Sales Rise Again for De Beers

Sales were up 36 percent year-over-year in June and are pacing 24 percent ahead of last year at this point.

AuctionsJun 23, 2022
Auction House Freeman’s Appoints First Rep in Florida

Kate Della Monica, a senior specialist in the Jewelry and Watches department, will relocate to the Sunshine State.

Lab-GrownJun 22, 2022
LVMH Luxury Ventures Sinks Money Into Lab-Grown Diamond Start-Up

LVMH’s investment arm has taken a stake in Lusix, a lab-grown diamond company based in Israel.

AuctionsJun 22, 2022
Here’s How Two 100-Plus-Carat Diamonds Did at Auction

Sotheby’s New York put a colorless diamond and a fancy deep orange-brown diamond up for sale last week, with mixed results.

CrimeJun 22, 2022
Leviev Diamonds Launches Bracelet to Help ‘Tinder Swindler’ Victims

Profits will help them recoup financial losses.

SourcingJun 22, 2022
Edward Asscher to Remain WDC President for Another Year

The organization also extended the terms of Vice President Feriel Zerouki and Treasurer Ronnie VanderLinden.

ColumnistsJun 21, 2022
State of the Majors 2022: Reflections on Resilience

After suffering a professional setback, columnist Peter Smith reflects on our ability to bounce back even when the hits keep on coming.

IndependentsJun 21, 2022
Jeweler Tommy Glatz, Known for Being Creative and Kind, Dies at 68

Glatz owned and operated Glatz Jewelers in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania for more than 40 years.

Events & AwardsJun 21, 2022
24 Karat Club of Southern California Will Honor These Industry Leaders

The organization will present three awards at its annual dinner, dance, and gala in October.

MajorsJun 21, 2022
David Yurman Hires Chief of People, Strategy

Former McKinsey partner Emily Yueh marks new president Evan Yurman’s first hire.

TrendsJun 17, 2022
Britney Spears Wore Over $500K of Stephanie Gottlieb Diamonds at Her Wedding

The New York jeweler also made the pop star’s wedding bands.

AuctionsJun 17, 2022
5-Carat Paraiba Tourmaline Ring to Hit the Auction Block

It’s predicted to sell for up to $484,000 during the Bonhams Hong Kong Jewels and Jadeite auction on June 22.

Events & AwardsJun 17, 2022
WJA Foundation to Offer Tech Scholarships for Women of Color

The recipient will receive up to $17,500 toward a tech-focused certification or program of their choice.

CollectionsJun 17, 2022
Piece of the Week: Gemella’s ‘Stella’ Necklace

It’s as versatile as it is glamorous.

Supplier BulletinJun 16, 2022
HiBid Is A Jewelry Lover’s Best Friend

Sponsored by HiBid

TechnologyJun 16, 2022
Cartier, Amazon Suing ‘Influencer,’ Sellers Over Counterfeit ‘Love’ Jewelry

The alleged scheme involving fake “Love” bracelets, necklaces and rings was designed to circumvent Amazon’s counterfeit detection tools.

MajorsJun 16, 2022
Helzberg CEO Beryl Raff to Retire

Chief Financial Officer Brad Hampton will take over as the retailer’s new CEO.

CollectionsJun 16, 2022
Kirk Kara Unveils ‘Rayana’ Collection, New Bridal Styles at Luxury Show

Its new collection with subtle swirl designs draws inspiration from the family’s Armenian roots.

WatchesJun 16, 2022
Tudor Opens LA Flagship Boutique

It’s located at the Westfield Century City outdoor shopping center.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy