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othertravel

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The larger problem is that it's harder to succeed in the middle market these days. Cucinelli, LP, H&M, and Zara, are doing well. But brands like BB suffered.
 

7_rocket

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I’ve never seen more than 5 people simultaneously at BB so not sure what is so sad. In general, the fact that Canadian peeps crave and are dominated by US culture makes it ironic when American companies have to exit a market like Toronto.

Oh well….

Agreed on never seen more than 5 ppl in the store. I once bought a pair of AE shoes from there and it wasn't a pleasant experience. Very pretentious attitudes
 

othertravel

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Honestly, who cares about BB in this day and age. There is nothing in their stores that excites me. Black fleece was interesting, but that's it

When it came to shoes, they were probably one of the best stockists in Canada.

The Peal shoes were made by C&J, Church's, Sargent, and Loake. Not to mention their Edward Green line.

Derek Guy is very well-versed in the history of the company, and he wrote that BB's reputation came from the fact that they stocked from the best makers in the world. Since the company got sold, they went much further downmarket (example, Aldo now makes their shoes).
 

TimothyF

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When it came to shoes, they were probably one of the best stockists in Canada.

The Peal shoes were made by C&J, Church's, Sargent, and Loake. Not to mention their Edward Green line.

Derek Guy is very well-versed in the history of the company, and he wrote that BB's reputation came from the fact that they stocked from the best makers in the world. Since the company got sold, they went much further downmarket (example, Aldo now makes their shoes).

That's at least 5 years in the rear view mirror. They lost their DNA when they abandoned their last root in the American traditional look. Now nothing differentiates them from Nordstrom or Banana Republic
 

RapFan

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IMO what we need is better range of British tailoring here. The weather in Canada calls for more British suits and fabrics than it does Neopolitan.

Saks tried by bring Lutwyche along, unfortunately it wasn't rolled out well. I bought 2 sportcoats and a suit and they are Brioni level good (maybe even better). I can wear them in ugly weather and they can take a beating.
 

Jamesbond1

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IMO what we need is better range of British tailoring here. The weather in Canada calls for more British suits and fabrics than it does Neopolitan.

Saks tried by bring Lutwyche along, unfortunately it wasn't rolled out well. I bought 2 sportcoats and a suit and they are Brioni level good (maybe even better). I can wear them in ugly weather and they can take a beating.
I live in Canada and enjoy tweed, flannel in Neapolitan tailoring! I think tailoring and style is preference regardless of weather. Tweed and Flannel fabrics are made in mills all over the world.

Spier and Mackay has cult following in Canada! It is all Chinapolitan!
 

othertravel

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I live in Canada and enjoy tweed, flannel in Neapolitan tailoring! I think tailoring and style is preference regardless of weather. Tweed and Flannel fabrics are made in mills all over the world.

Spier and Mackay has cult following in Canada! It is all Chinapolitan!

You need 66% less exclamation points.
 

partenopean

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I think you missed the fact that Brooks Brothers is not catering to the general population of the people of Toronto regardless of the points you make. BB assumedly was catering to clothing enthusiasts who would/should have appreciated them having a physical presence in Toronto yet failed in this market. The price of mens tailored clothing in this city is outrageous - does not compute for me personally.

Let me take this conversation back to the point -- this is about BB closing physical stores in Toronto.

This is not about the decline and death of the BB company from 2016 to 2024. That is a separate issue, and one involving corporate greed, changing American consumer preferences, changing American business wear, and clothing and work/going out changes brought on my the coming and going of the covid-19 pandemic.

In this forum, we are not corporate strategy historians. We are clothing enthusiasts. Or supposed to be, assuming we are not re-sellers or small-business owners shilling ourselves...

My point is the person who would have been BB's customer in Toronto failed them, leading to store closures.
Why?

Such people don't exist in Toronto anymore. They have gone into secluded retirement homes to die, or have left the city.

The vacuum is filled by people who subsist on cheap cigarettes, wear goodwill clothes, and think foodbanks are free food! Who, they ask, would be so stupid to pay for food in stores, if you can scavenge it for free at foodbanks?

Which brings me to my other point -- is it because they are short of money?
Hellllllll nooooooo!
It is because these people don't believe in spending money to live well, or even to live.

Life, for them, is something to be eeked out by working and smoking, until death by diphtheria or lung cancer ends it.

Money, for them, is something to be hoarded, to be invested in real estate.


That's all.
 

partenopean

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Despite coming from the WSJ, this version of why Brooks Brothers went bankrupt in 2020/1 is incorrect.

A lot of non-ultra luxury menswear brands -- in the EU, UK and the US -- were hurt by, but survived the pandemic lockdowns. Most are doing better now than in 2019.


In 2012, BB was still at the top of its game.

Two blockbuster Hollywood movies --- The Wolf of Wall Street, and The Great Gatsby (2012 remake) both highlighted Brooks Brothers.
In particular, a massive advertisement campaign was launched surrounding the Great Gatsby.

Sales were strong, despite a secular decline in traditional menswear since 1980.

In January 2013, President Barack Obama continued a 150-something year tradition and wore BB's signature Golden Fleece cashmere overcoat at his inauguration.

Golden Fleece sold out in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The big change happened under the Italian management in 2016.
A new approach was taken, to try and increase profits.
Nearly all UK and Italy manufacturing was ended, and US manufacturing was drastically cut back, with intentions to phase it out altogether.

Many of the shuttered US manufacturing facilities were quickly purchased and turned into new Amazon fulfillment centers. Equipment was sold.

But prices were kept at US manufacturing levels, despites clothes made sub-standard in Vietnam, China, Malaysia and Pakistan.
The justification was you were paying for the "heritage" brand -- that is to say, the label.

Somehow, the Italian management thought the consumer would fall for this.

Between 2016 and 2017, the quality went to hell. There was uproar, consistently, even in the reviews on the website among other places, but this fell on deaf ears on the management.

US manufacturing was completely phased out by 2019. The last union had been defeated by then.

But by then, it was abundantly clear BB's strategy had failed, and profits dropped significantly.

Then the lockdowns came, and they blamed everything on the pandemic. I'm amazed they're also not also blaming the rise in shoplifting by organized gangs reselling online.

The WSJ article shows the similar decline in thorough journalism, and the rise of incomplete or incorrect information making its way to incompetent "journalists"....
 

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