The parent company of Men’s Wearhouse filed for bankruptcy on Monday to restructure its $1.5 billion in debt after the coronavirus pandemic derailed its turnaround plan.
Tailored Brands, which also owns Jos. A. Bank and K&G Fashion Superstore, is the latest of more than 20 private and public retailers to have declared bankruptcy this year. In addition to having to temporarily close its 1,274 stores in the U.S., the company has been hit by remote work policies, which have reduced demand for formal office apparel.
Prior to the pandemic, Tailored Brands had been pursuing a turnaround strategy after years of declining sales.
“As evidenced by the positive results we saw in January and February, we have made significant progress in refining our assortments, strengthening our omnichannel offering and evolving our marketing channel and creative mix,” CEO Dinesh Lahti said in a news release. “However, the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 requires us to further adapt and evolve.”
The company plans to use the Chapter 11 process to implement a restructuring that will reduce its debt by between about $455 million and $555 million. Lenders have also agreed to provide it with $500 million in debtor-in-possession financing.
Tailored Brands had warned in June that it might have to seek bankruptcy protection after it reported first-quarter sales were down 60% due to the pandemic. The company skipped an interest payment of about $6.1 million on Men’s Wearhouse bonds that was due July 1.
George Zimmer, who, as the company’s TV advertising pitchman, made the tagline “I guarantee it” famous, opened the first Men’s Wearhouse store in Houston in 1973, using $30,000 in credit from his father.
By 2011, the company sold one in five suits in the U.S., making it one of the largest specialty retailers of men’s apparel. It acquired competitor Jos. A. Bank in 2014 and Tailored Brands became the holding company for the brands in 2016.
With revenue declining by nearly 6% over the past two years alone, Tailored Brands launched a turnaround effort that included selling non-core operations, closing stores, and growing its e-commerce channel.