Menswear Bankruptcies And The Collapse Of The Middle Market

The bankruptcies are piling up, like pawed-over pairs of trousers at a clearance sale: Barneys, Brooks Brothers, Jos A Banks, Neiman Marcus, J Crew, Lord & Taylor. This is not a complete list of clothing retailers gone bust, but an important subset. All these companies offered men’s clothing — among other things — and operated, at a greater or lesser altitude, in the market’s middle stratum. All are in very deep trouble. Those that survive the bankruptcy process will not emerge in anything resembling their current form, or at anything close to their current size. The middle has been hollowed out of clothing retail in general, and menswear in particular. Read more at Financial Times.

3 Replies to “Menswear Bankruptcies And The Collapse Of The Middle Market”

  1. Can’t read the article without subscribing…so I can only infer by the introduction, but it begs for this rebuttal and reminder:

    All of the failing companies are listed on the stock market. All of them are “faux retail”, carefully designed to look like the real thing but are NOT. NONE of these headlines apply to the independent niche. You know, the niche that was decimated by the onslaught of these invading body snatchers beginning in the 1980s. Every single one of these failures reduces the over-storing nightmare of American retail. Every announcement of a reduction in retail square footage reduces pressure on the indies that still do our best to provide the real thing, and ultimately, it will open doors for newcomers that want to throw their hat into the ring with a new, single projection of their personality.

    We are going to see a lot more of this; it’s important to have our thinking hats on properly. Big national names are going to fail, reduce, close entirely. Remember: We don’t NEED all this ersatz retail. It’s OK, it’s good that it’s shrinking. Revel in it. Anticipate the return of the days when “independent” drives the industry. Makes me salivate. Even the possibility of that end result offers hope, and the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

    1. Yup, uh huh,……. agree totally, Peter ! The possibilities to reinvent are exciting indeed….Now somebody has to go and start it up again without much knowledge of what “fashion” will look like…but the risk/reward presents a fantastic opportunity for all !

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