The oldest retailer in America, Brooks Brothers, has succumbed to bankruptcy and is looking for a buyer.

With a history that dates to 1818, Brooks Brothers fell under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic as all of its stores were closed due to stay-at-home orders. The retailer also reduced its store count, reportedly to make it a more attractive option for buyers looking for a smaller footprint for the company.

The retailer is moving forward with plans to reopen the majority of its 500 stores, but a new strategy is required to accommodate the safety guidelines necessitated by the coronavirus.

Brooks Brothers has also reportedly been saddled with costly rent payments at stores that remained closed during the pandemic, compounded by dropping sales as it looked to fit men and women in office and casual apparel as more Americans shifted to leisurewear for working from home.

Brooks Brothers has secured $75 million in debtor-in-possession financing from WHP Global in addition to a $20 million loan obtained in May from Gordon Brothers, CNBC said. As part of the restructuring, the company reportedly also will no longer manufacture at its Massachusetts, North Carolina, and New York facilities, which produce about 7% of its merchandise.

“Over the past year, Brooks Brothers' board, leadership team, and financial and legal advisers have been evaluating various strategic options to position the company for future success, including a potential sale of the business,” a spokesperson for Brooks Brothers told the news outlet.

“During this strategic review, COVID-19 became immensely disruptive and took a toll on our business.

The spokesperson continued: “We are in the process of identifying the right owner, or owners, to lead our iconic Brooks Brothers brand into the future. It is critical that any potential buyer aligns with our core values, culture and ambitions. Further details on the sale process will be made available in the coming days.”

In 2019, Brooks Brothers sales topped a reported $991 million, with 20% of those sales generated through online purchases. The iconic brand has a series of wholesale agreements with retailers that include Macy’s and Nordstrom, as well as contracts to produce uniforms for the NetJets and United Airlines, among others.

Brooks Brothers joins a series of retail casualties that have filed for bankruptcy during the coronavirus pandemic, including Neiman Marcus, J. Crew and JC Penney.

Brooks Brothers
A view of Brooks Brothers storefront closed during the COVID-19 crisis on May 6, 2020, in Vancouver, Canada. Getty Images/Andrew Chin