Apparel companies and the pandemic: closings, bankruptcies and liquidations

Brooks Brothers’s bankruptcy filing (see previous post) is the latest and largest apparel company impacted this the summer. But several other brands have encountered headwinds, some with more drastic outcomes.

Last week, Lucky Brand Dungarees filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing the coronavirus’s impact on sales. Lucky announced at least 13 store closings, and has lined up a stalking horse bid to sell its physical assets as well as the brand rights.

Fellow denim label G-Star RAW also filed for bankruptcy, but with more optimistic plans. The company noted its relatively low debt and sees an opportunity to rethink its retail approach.

More radically, Need Supply and sister label Totokaelo are shutting down entirely. End dates have not been announced, and the company is choosing to close rather than going bankrupt, but the stores will be gone soon.

Also, the G.H. Bass and Wilsons Leather stores are going out of business. Parent company G-III, streamlining its portfolio in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, announced the permanent closure of both brands with liquidation sales to start shortly.

Many other brands have announced store closings of various scale, from Zara (which will close up to 1200 locations worldwide) to Victoria’s Secret (250 store closings this summer and fall, a result of parent company L Brands failing to sell the marque) to Signet Jewelers (as many as 300 store closings this year). Additional stores are covered in the link above.

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