Brooks Brothers Sold Again - Printable Version
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Brooks Brothers Sold Again - Joubert - 11-24-2001 01:07 PM
Marks and Spencer has sold the 170 store Brooks Brothers Chain to a woman's clothing retailer looking to expand their product offering. Two telling comments from news reports:
1) A Wall Street analyst criticized BB management saying, "Every time there was an obituary, they lost a customer. They simply didn't update their product line..."
2) M&S said they didn't see growth in the market given the increasing trend of casual workplaces in the U.S.
This all came to roost for me because I'm re-reading yet again Darryl Brock's wonderful time travel novel, If I Never Get Back. In the story, the main character is transported from the present day to 1869 Cincinnati. His new companions question his clothing in one of the early scenes. It's Brooks Brothers, he sputters out to the astonishment of the clothes dandy in the group who scoffs that Brooks Brothers doesn't have a San Francisco store. Actually, they now have 170.
1) Have you ever bought any BB clothing? (I got some ties from my brother-in-law who shops there, but that's about it)
2) How accurate do you think the analyst's criticism is? Are we becoming a Khaki Nation?
3) And what about expansion? Brooks Brothers used to mean painstaking attention to detail and the finest quality material. Can a 170 store chain still provide that level of quality?
Brooks Brothers Sold Again - kurt_messick - 11-24-2001 01:23 PM
(1) I have bought Brooks Brothers -- suits, ties, shirts, overcoats.
(2) Brooks Brothers has outlet stores -- these certainly don't have the attention to detail that their Chicago Michigan Ave. store has.
(3) I didn't die, but I'm no longer a customer (alas, you can guess why)
(4) Certainly their outlet stores had plenty of khaki and dress-casual clothes. I would imagine their demise is owed to something else.