Buona Notte: Brooks Brothers Officially Sold

Today MR Magazine reported that Brooks Brothers has finalized its sale for $325 million to Authentic Brands Group and SPARC Group.

The menswear trade publication writes (emphasis added):

Through the transaction, SPARC, the dedicated operating company for ABG-owned brands including Aéropostale, Nautica, and Lucky Brand, assumes the role of core licensee for Brooks Brothers.

SPARC will manage the entirety of Brooks Brothers’ operations, including retail, wholesale, and e-commerce.

ABG has purchased the intellectual property and will oversee all licensing partnerships, new business, and brand development.

Brand marketing, which will focus on adapting Brooks Brothers for a new generation through enhanced creative, engaging with, and growing its following online and launching a fresh slate of collaborations, will be shared by ABG and SPARC.

“We are thrilled to bring this world-class brand into the fold,” said Jamie Salter, founder, chairman, and CEO of ABG.  “Brooks Brothers comes at an important time in ABG’s development as we are placing a significant emphasis on growing our retail and e-commerce footprint.  We see a great opportunity to strategically expand this powerhouse brand across the globe.”

“Brooks Brothers’ new structure is another example of how ABG and SPARC are innovating the traditional brand model,” added Marc Miller, CEO of SPARC.  “Our strategic partnership will allow us to leverage the tremendous equity of this quintessential American brand through key partnerships, dynamic marketing, and cutting-edge product design.”

Young fogeys and old relics here would politely point out that “adapting Brooks Brothers for a new generation” may have been part of the problem up until now, not to mention expanding the brand across the globe.

Read the full report here. — CC

29 Comments on "Buona Notte: Brooks Brothers Officially Sold"

  1. More (probably empty) corporate PRspeak.

  2. They should scale back and focus on US/Canada/Europe-made clothing. Rebadge Mercer, Gitman and resurrect Southwick and New England Shirt Co. Slash their costs, make fewer, better items at a higher price and get back to being a J Press/Andover Shop hybrid.

  3. Considering several corporatespeak words in their presser, such as “adapting Brooks Brothers for a new generation” and “Brooks Brothers’ new structure is another example of how ABG and SPARC are innovating the traditional brand model”. Tells me the books we knew are gone. I’ve been around and through many corporate takeovers and the result of the business taken over is, within a few years, almost unrecognizable. Sic transit Gloria. Goodby Brooks as we knew it.

  4. Rene Lebenthal | September 2, 2020 at 4:11 am |

    I fear that BB will become another wishy washy brand with some reminiscences to the past, adapted to another customership, people who don’t have any clothing culture. It will be a lot of Branding, no substance and a lot of Marketing. I agree with “elder prep”. This is the end to the BB as we knew it, with the few good assets that there still were left during the del Vecchio era. I wonder what will happen to 346 Madison avenue?

  5. The new Brooks Brothers will be unrecognizable, and like the current Abercrombie & Fitch it will bear no relation to the original either. ABG bought a logo.

  6. It’s a monkey see, monkey do world. If prominent people, actors, sports figures, corporate and government leaders quit dressing like slobs, people will emulate their attire, and trad clothing will rise from the ashes.

    Not likely to happen.

    As Elder Prep said, Brooks will be unrecognizable.

  7. Done and dusted. As Jim K said above, it’ll be an A&F – a brand name and logo to slap around wherever they see fit. They can’t recoup their investment by scaling back and returning to its roots. That was never going to happen. No one pays hundreds of millions to make a pittance (relatively speaking) in return or in order to fulfil some idealistic notion – certainly not by a company like ABG. Maybe if some Japanese company had bought it, like one did with Paul Stuart, that’d be case, but not here.

  8. Younger generations are mostly clueless about the look. If you wore a Donegal Mist tweed jacket, Mercer OCBD, club tie, moleskin pants, and Alden 986’s, they would know this: you look “dressed up”–distinctive. They might even use phrases like “preppy” or “professorial.” If the sociologists are right, Generation Z’s are (will be) quite a bit more conservative-and-provincial than their Boomer and GenX parents, so there’s a degree to which they’ll get (grasp, appreciate) anything that’s tasteful in a modest, understated way. This, contrasted with the whiny, self-indulgent, not infrequently vulgar (must every older well-to-do Boomer drive a shiny new Audi?!?) modus vivendi of the Boomers.

    “We’re spoiled rotten. We’re self-absorbed. And it seems like we’ll never shut up.”– P.J. O’ Rourke

  9. So long as widows donate their traditionalist husband’s wardrobes to Goodwill and the Salvation Army I will be just fine.

    Will

  10. Charlottesville | September 2, 2020 at 10:18 am |

    Sounds bad, at least for those of us who care about traditional American clothing. I will likely need to find a new source for boxers, socks and PJs, but fortunately there are still excellent shirts, ties, suits, etc. available elsewhere, at least for now.

  11. Carmelo Pugliatti | September 2, 2020 at 10:21 am |

    “Adapting for a new generation….The problem is that would have been necessary adapt the new generations to the traditional values and style of life. In Italy we said “progresso senza avventure” that mean improvement in the rut of traditions.
    I have fear that is too late for this,it was necessary to intervene at least in 60s.

  12. I’m hopeful the new owners will steer the brand in the right direction and thrive. I love BB and I’m a loyal customer. The world needs Brooks Brothers to succeed in the 21st century. But I also have my Plan B just in case.

  13. What would be the dream “fresh slate of collaborations”?

  14. Old School Tie | September 2, 2020 at 2:01 pm |

    Get ready for the Brooks Brothers x Lil Yachty capsule collection being much worn by Harry Styles and Tyler, the Creator…

  15. Flo,
    I don’t know, but I’ll bet it won’t be a grey Harris tweed sports jacket that will fit a full grown adult male.

  16. I’m actually hoping that ABG and SPARC fail in resurrecting BB so that a Japanese firm (like the owners of J. Press) can rescue them.

    The Japanese revere tradition, craftsmanship and quality more than anyone else in the world. They also respect their elders and care about preserving heritage. Brooks’ only hope to continue their estimable brand DNA is for a company like Onward Kashiyama to buy them out.

  17. “ Brooks’ only hope to continue their estimable brand DNA is for a company like Onward Kashiyama to buy them out.”

    This…is laughable.

    There is no Brooks Brothers, they never cared about you, it’s done, buy Mercer and go on eBay for jackets

  18. Henry Contestwinner | September 2, 2020 at 6:58 pm |

    Abercrombie & Fitch sold sporting goods & clothes before being transmogrified into selling fashionable (read: ugly) garbage to youngsters with more money than sense.

    Will Brooks Brothers go the same way? How long until the “cool kids” are wearing garish clothes emblazoned with enormous Golden Fleece logos?

  19. For whom is this corporate word salad written? I know the type of jerks who *write* it, but who is the audience that doesn’t simply laugh at it? The only meaningful phrase in all of that garbage is this: “[the buyer] assumes the role of core licensee …”.

    Buckle up, ladies.

  20. “Brand marketing… Adapting… Collaborating…” Be afraid. Be very afraid. BB will be teleported and mutated beyond recognition.

  21. Sacksuit says it all. Goodwill and the Salvation Army thrift stores are the place to buy “our” type of clothing.

    Even Ebay can net some nice bargains. Scored a nice HSM blazer for $ 25 earlier in the year. Didn’t look like anyone ever wore it.

    I haven’t shopped for clothes, new or vintage, since Mr. Corona took over our lives. Trying to stay away from people.

    Brooks boxer shorts are the best. I love the JFK model, kind of expensive at $45 each, though. My one GTH luxury.

  22. Rumor is 346 isn’t reopening

  23. George Latency | September 3, 2020 at 10:35 am |

    I heard they were opening a tie shop in Trump Tower, a MTM blazer shop on the Vegas Strip and will close every shop tied to a union.

  24. There are indeed some beautiful pieces on eBay, but what are the odds of finding exactly what you need, in your size? MTM at a reputable clothier is the only way to go. American style, British fabrics, quality construction. The situation has gone from bad to worse.

  25. CG/FA

    Can you elaborate? Source? Reason? Building to be sold?

  26. Hardbopper

    Thrift stores and eBay would, of course, not be the only source for dressing as we traditionalists do. There is a thrill to the hunt though. I once found Alden for BB cordovan longwings, Balmorals and my favorite 763 unlined loafers all in color #8 for less than $30 total. Navy, olive and tan Haspel Dacron wash and wear 3/2 sack suits like they were tailored for me – $5 each. Very satisfying.

    I will soon be purchasing some white and blue, brown, red and green university striped OCBD shirts from Mercer. My Troy Shirtmakers Guild and 80’s vintage Gitman Brothers shirts are destined for yard and beach.

    Cheers,

    Will

  27. Source is connected to Hickey, reason is Claudio still owns the building and wanted $3M a year in rent (not unreasonable), new owners aren’t interested. Del V has himself a nice albatross! Couldn’t happen to a better guy!

  28. Based on the New York Times article – BB is about to be dismantled and sold for scrap.

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