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The New Brooks Brothers

Marc Voorhees

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Bofa deez nuts!

im sorry i am a child
No worries man, I just didn't want you to get blue balls waiting too long for someone to take the bait
 

Phileas Fogg

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With Cone Mills being a excellent case study?
there’s no doubt that large scale manufacturing of the raw materials is likely gone. Let’s face it, there are places where it can be made at a lower cost.

It is and will likely continue to live on in more artisanal brands. Rag & Bone makes its denim products here though the fabric is sourced elsewhere. There are other brands as well. Raleigh denim manufactures domestically and there are other, smaller brands.

Whether people will continue to support this is another story. I found an interesting article regarding the cone mills looms being put back into production. No doubt an attempt to capitalize on that market but if it helps to extend American manufacturing of denim by even a bit, then worth it.

 

Panama

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Is that any different than the dilemma any Other retailer faces? Everyone is looking for a discount. Brooks Brothers ideal or average customer was and is not really high end. The BB costumer is not concerned with exclusivity, rather his goal is value. Hence, he will wait for discounts.

BB did not exactly offer its products at an attractive price point. Of the handful of BB items I own, most were purchased on sale or with volume discounts (2/$199, etc.). It had a lot of competition and did not really set itself apart. Year in and year out or offered the same boring products. Professional men had largely moved away from wearing suits and tailored clothing to the office yet about 1/3 to 1/2 of the floor space was dedicated to such items.





people are willing to pay a premium for MiUSA products provided those products stand out. Denim is a good example.
Who were the competition? As a European I am aware of Jos Bank and J Crew, who both went into bankruptcy. Internationally there is Ralph Lauren either PRL or RLPL.


Interestingly in the UK Austin Reed who followed a similar model to BB went into administration twice.
 

Marc Voorhees

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Alright. Which of you guys wrote this.

 

Phileas Fogg

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Who were the competition?
strictly speaking as a consumer, the two you mentioned. Also many mid tiered department stores.

Ralph Lauren as a brand and experience is in a league of its own. Setting aside purple label, just walking into an RL flagship store is a feast for the eyes. The same polo shirt sold at Macy’s looks so much more high end in an RL store. Is it? No. But they know how to set the stage.
 

Salad

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Alright. Which of you guys wrote this.

I thought this was satire but the comments seem to suggest otherwise.
 

Marc Voorhees

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And based on the opening paragraph alone, the author comes off as a happy drunk. Not exactly something to aspire to.
it was the 90's... he could have been a happy coke fiend instead
 
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Rosarito

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My local Brooks Brothers store in Newport Beach closed last year. It was one of those shops I always looked forward to going into but they never seemed to stock anything I wanted, even though there were many items on the website I wanted to try. It was always a, "we don't have that but we can order it for you" situation. In the same mall, there is a menswear store called Gary's that still seems to be doing well but they are, in my opinion, a lackluster version of what Brooks Brothers was in its heyday - a sort-of "one stop shop" for quality classic gentlemen's wear. I keep thinking that BB could have just looked across the mall, taken note of what Gary's is doing, remembered that they could do it much better, and snapped back into it. But nope. I hope they do make a comeback as a luxury brand for high quality classics and don't try to compete with the fast fashion and more entry level brands.
 

Norwester

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My local Brooks Brothers store in Newport Beach closed last year. It was one of those shops I always looked forward to going into but they never seemed to stock anything I wanted, even though there were many items on the website I wanted to try. It was always a, "we don't have that but we can order it for you" situation. In the same mall, there is a menswear store called Gary's that still seems to be doing well but they are, in my opinion, a lackluster version of what Brooks Brothers was in its heyday - a sort-of "one stop shop" for quality classic gentlemen's wear. I keep thinking that BB could have just looked across the mall, taken note of what Gary's is doing, remembered that they could do it much better, and snapped back into it. But nope. I hope they do make a comeback as a luxury brand for high quality classics and don't try to compete with the fast fashion and more entry level brands.
It was a similar situation at the store in Seattle. At their peak they had racks and racks of 1818 suits and blazers in three fits and five colors, plus shelves of dress shirts in the classic colors. Each spring and fall a display table would appear with a selection of the seasonal sport shirts, but that was pretty much it outside of the basics. I have never seen a Golden Fleece sport coat (nor have any idea what fit they correspond to). Outerwear must be an east coast thing, since I don't recall ever seeing any appear here. On the other hand we have the flagship Nordstroms just a few blocks away, so it's not a complete desert.
 

sid11111

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My local Brooks Brothers store in Newport Beach closed last year. It was one of those shops I always looked forward to going into but they never seemed to stock anything I wanted, even though there were many items on the website I wanted to try. It was always a, "we don't have that but we can order it for you" situation. In the same mall, there is a menswear store called Gary's that still seems to be doing well but they are, in my opinion, a lackluster version of what Brooks Brothers was in its heyday - a sort-of "one stop shop" for quality classic gentlemen's wear. I keep thinking that BB could have just looked across the mall, taken note of what Gary's is doing, remembered that they could do it much better, and snapped back into it. But nope. I hope they do make a comeback as a luxury brand for high quality classics and don't try to compete with the fast fashion and more entry level brands.
Hard to imagine them coming back as a luxury brand when existing customers find their current prices before sale unpalatable high. Case in point- the MiUSA shirts.
 

classicalthunde

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Hard to imagine them coming back as a luxury brand when existing customers find their current prices before sale unpalatable high. Case in point- the MiUSA shirts.
I wonder if there are some queues they could take away from the Ralph Lauren model...they have a handful of very different lines both in quality of build and style, you can find a RL polo on the rack at Macy's, but also pick up a RLPL camel hair coat for $15K...no one seems to really turn there nose down at Ralph Lauren the brand despite

Put a handful of B&Ms in the right areas that sell mainline and upscale pieces, diffuse a decent amount of the lower level and mainline stuff to 3rd party vendors, and make some unapologetically high end, high price stuff

I think the difference is that RL chose this model from a position of power, and BB is trying to crawl out of a PR nightmare
 

Norwester

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Hard to imagine them coming back as a luxury brand when existing customers find their current prices before sale unpalatable high. Case in point- the MiUSA shirts.
In his 2018 interview with the New York Times, Del Vecchio said that the Garland, N.C., shirt factory was their only domestic factory that operated at a loss. And that was when it was rare to see an OCBD for $100. So even at full price it appears it didn't pencil out. He went on to say:

“Part of the Brooks Brothers institution are its factories and what it means from a social standpoint to put things together,” he said. “Not every consumer can afford to buy ‘Made in America.’ But we have a brand that can justify that cost, and there are enough customers who understand this.”

As you note, apparently not...
 

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