Twilight in the West: Brooks Shutters LA Store After 71 Years

Earlier this week, Brooks Brothers closed its store in Downtown Los Angeles, where it had maintained a presence since 1939.

The LA Downtown News (which I used to do some writing for), covered the closing, writing:

Claudio Del Vecchio, the chairman and CEO of New York-based Brooks Brothers, said the store closed because the company had intended to open an 11,000-square-foot location in developer Related Cos. $3 billion Grand Avenue project. That remains on hold due to the difficult lending environment.

“The delay of the Grand project coincided with the expiration of our current lease at Figueroa Street and unfortunately we were unable to reach an agreement with the landlord,” Del Vecchio said in an email to Los Angeles Downtown News. “It is never an easy decision to close a store and we hope to return to Downtown L.A. We are actively searching for alternate locations in the event that the Grand doesn’t come to fruition.”

The photo above is of an employee scraping the Brooks Brothers logo off the window.

Brooks continues to run a large emporium on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. — CC

10 Comments on "Twilight in the West: Brooks Shutters LA Store After 71 Years"

  1. Haven’t been to Brooks Brothers in L.A. since 1985, but I can assure you that it was as dreary as a ghost town then.

    When I last visited the flagship store in New York in a hot humid August of 2003, I certainly didn’t see any customers in shirtsleeves, or without neckties.

  2. In the last several years Brooks has changed locations in Denver, San Diego, and Phoenix. In each case the new stores were expanded “flagships”. That is a lot of flagships.

  3. The more stores, the less quality in the goods and staff. BB was a fabulous store until it expanded so much; now it’s just another store, except for its shoe department and a few other items. I started shopping BB in 1960-what a difference. 🙁

  4. Not much in the world is the same as it was in 1960.

  5. I think it’s good that they are expanding and making their clothes more widely available…in case you haven’t noticed the dress code is going downhill nowadays and I say the more people have access to Brooks Brothers the better

  6. Richard Meyer | March 29, 2010 at 3:29 am |

    No; some for the better, others, such as BB, for the worse.

  7. Bermuda: I think the decline of BB is one reason the dress code is going down hill.

  8. This is too bad, the staff at the Rodeo store is abysmal. The good news is South Coast and Century City maintain a crack group of employees.

  9. Brooks Brothers has not been the same since the beautiful wood-paneled store closed on 7th Avenue where it sat across from the old J.W. Robinson’s store. Anyone who remembers that location and shopped there will agree. My grandfather took me as a boy to get my first blazer and flannels there, and I’ll always enjoy the memory of the holiday wreaths and the sober gentleman who greeted my grandfather, and then brought the proper attire for the “young man”: I was six or seven.

    There was for a long time a good outpost in Newport Beach where I got things during high school vacations and college summers. The staff at that small store actually wanted to cultivate a pleasant relationship with their business. I still have my made-to-measure suits and jackets from that time. Then it too closed in the 1990’s.

    When I worked in Downtown L.A., I found the L.A. staff helpful but under the clearly stressful management idiocy of that Macy’s of Brit stores, Marks & Spencer. I’d seen them in England but never gone in. After they bought Brooks, and a close London-born friend tried to convince me of the Company’s excellent rep and quality, I happened to enter the store in Hong Kong Central District while on business. Five minutes later I was outta there.

    I don’t feel the Century City store has ever had good staff, though there might be an exception or two. The South Coast Plaza store in Costa Mesa serves a different clientele than I saw either at Downtown L.A. or Newport. And Brooks’ vaunted quality has changed so: no-iron everything, J. Crew and Old Navy-like styles, and wretched ties. I went to buy some more pima cotton shirts in the usual colors, and was told they weren’t sold anymore. Fortunately one staff person took pity on my obvious chagrin, led me aside, and, reaching under the glass case, handed me the “Timeless Classics” book-like catalogue. Opening it to the first few pages, he pointed out the very shirts I wanted, and said, Buy them here. He got my undying gratitude.

    I hope a new Downtown L.A. store will carry on, but I wonder about the Company’s commitment.

  10. We have a Brooks Brothers store nearby, where my husband buys a lot of his staples. It’s always busy, and I love the classy demeanor of the sales people. Always a treat.

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