Brooks Brothers (founded in 1818) is the latest retailer to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, pushed over the edge by the impact of COVID-19. One of the oldest retailers, that brags of having dressed 40 of the 45 U.S Presidents, joins a growing list of retailers that have announced bankruptcies, store closings and employee layoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including J.C. Penny, Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, Macy’s and Lucky Brand.
Brooks Brothers employs over 4,000 people, but the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that there are 4.8 million people working in the retail industry. That number is expected to decline by 2% by 2028, due to competition from online sales. Well, COVID-19 might push that 2% estimate even higher.
Ask Yourself the Tough Questions
Brooke Brothers bankruptcy reminds us that while confidence and positive thinking serve us well most of the time, it should not stop us from preparing for unexpected catastrophes such as job loss. As ugly as that sounds, it’s unwise to procrastinate or avoid making plans to get through tough times.
Here are some tough questions to answer when developing a contingency plan for your business. Listen for the list.
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