RIP, Brooks Brothers? How Coronavirus Has 'Infected' the U.S. Economy
A number of leading retail stores filed for bankruptcy as coronavirus has struck their sales deeply, including Brooks Brothers, True Religion Apparel, J. Crew, JC Penney and Neiman Marcus.
Classic office attire is a bit different this year, as working-from-home has grown so common amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Covid-19 hasn’t spared a single industry, with airfare sales plummeting, restaurants closing down and retail stores - especially those that sell professional clothing - suffering.
In May, consumer spending rose after two months of heavy declines, according to the Department of Commerce. Consumers have shifted their spending towards motor vehicles and health care, the department noted.
US retail stores, however, are still experiencing declines in spending. The days of button-ups and dress pants have diminished since working-from-home calls for t-shirts and comfortable shorts.
A number of leading retail stores filed for bankruptcy as coronavirus has struck their sales deeply, including Brooks Brothers, True Religion Apparel, J. Crew, JC Penny and Neiman Marcus.
Brooks Brothers, a brand that has dressed nearly 40 presidents and is two centuries old, filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday. The company plans to shutter 51 stores and about 250 locations in the US. The filing estimates that the brand owes around $500 million to $1 billion, including credit and rent expenses.
Even though the pandemic took a toll on the company’s sales, Neil Saunders, the managing director of GlobalData Retail, said it “has long suffered from a failure to decisively adapt to changing trends.” In terms of coping with style changes, “Brooks Brothers has been swimming against the tide,” Saunders added.
The brand plans to keep operating, despite the decision of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a Delaware Court.
Restaurants also took a major hit due to the virus, leaving more than 10 million workers unemployed. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Commerce committee, led the bipartisan effort to help restaurants in the bill titled, the Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed to Survive (RESTAURANTS) Act of 2020. The initiative provides funds to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to aid independent, small restaurants financially recover from the impacts of the pandemic.
“This legislation would provide critical support to our nation’s small and independent restaurants, helping their workers and the farmers, fishermen, distributors and truckers that rely on them,” Wicker tweeted on Wednesday.
Bio: Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill.