Brooks Brothers files for bankruptcy protection in Delaware

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Brooks Brothers filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Wilmington.

The company is looking for a buyer for the iconic men’s and women’s wear brand that has seen demand for its suits plunge over the years as more companies go the business casual route.

Brooks Brothers pivoted with some success into “preppie” casual wear and women’s lines, but struggled with the challenges facing most retailers.

Chapter 11 gives the retailer more flexibility in terminating leases and making other moves to lower costs in preparation for a sale.

Prior to the bankruptcy, the company announced it would close more than 50 stores.

The company reported progress in reopening stores. However, outlet stores near Rehoboth Beach and Queenstown, MD remain closed, even though both states have allowed retail stores to open with restrictions on occupancy.

The company is controlled by Italian businessman Claudio Del Vecchio who serves as CEO.

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