Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Brooks Bros flagship store: 346 Madison

A couple of weeks ago I heard from a trusted source that the Brooks Bros flagship store is closing due to a lease issue. This is the historic store at 346 Madison that the firm moved into way back in 1915. The plan is apparently to consolidate their retail in their other stores in NYC.

I haven't gotten a second source to confirm this but the tip comes from a reliable source. In addition, there are other indications that a move is imminent. Exhibit A is the recent "warehouse" sale - the first such sale at least since the 1960s. If you can confirm or disconfirm, let me know!

Updated 04/01/09: I heard from an employee that BB will not be moving. Check the comments section of this post.

Additional links
- Ask Andy thread on BB warehouse sale

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a sales associate at the Brooks Brothers Madison store. The definitive answer is NO. There are no such plans. The warehouse sale was to raise funds for another major phase in BB's development. ;)

sleevehead said...

Excellent, that's great news about the store. We're all interested to see what the next phase for BB looks like. Perhaps a new retail concept?

Anonymous said...

Black Fleece was an incredible move forward in BB's development. It's really re-grappled the youth back into the brand, without compromising fair pricing and quality.

sleevehead said...

I agree that Black Fleece nicely augments BB's offering and brand for younger customers. Smart move I think.

markseitelman said...

346 Madison Avenue is owned by 346 Madison, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company with offices at 346 Madison Ave., NYC.

The building was owned Chesterfield Hill, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company with offices at 1719 Franklin Canyon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA.

The sale occured on August 7, 2007.

It is likely that 346 Madison, LLC is owned by Brooks Bros. (or its owners) since its place of business is listed as 346 Madison. The building is owned by a separate LLC for either legal or tax purposes.

I guess that the sale of the building was part of the sale of Brooks Bros. to Claudio Del Vecchio and that the building sale occurred after the sale of the company.

The sale price was $137,500,000. NYC took a real property transfer tax of $3,609,375, and the state took a real property transfer tax of $550,000.

As far as the likelihood of Brooks putting-up the building for sale, I think that such is unlikely in view of the poor condition of the economy and the NYC real estate market.

This is all public record.

Mark E. Seitelman

sleevehead said...

Thank you Mark for the investigative work! My source was right that something was afoot at 346 Madison but likely didn't get the details right.

I suspect the change that is afoot at BB seems likely to be a new retail concept or extension of Black Fleece,

markseitelman said...

A further interesting note:

Although Brooks closed its 6th floor (it had been re-opened almost 10 years ago), it fully re-constructed the 5th floor to include suits and MTM suits and shirts. It moved its womens' department to a much larger space next door to J. Press' former store.

Therefore, Brooks has freed-up a retail floor. Will it relocate the womens' department there? Or will it use it for something else?

Anonymous said...

company finally bought the building they had been leasing for 100yrs. the sixth floor is now used as an event space. brooks bros is now doing a full renovation of the building including all retail floors and corporate offices. tailored clothing on 5 was phase 1.
goal is to make this a real flagship location/destination. the warehouse sale was a way to get rid of old stock as well as suits from the recently acquired southwick company.

sleevehead said...

Thanks for the update - very interesting news on acquiring the building and the plans afoot to create a destination flagship store. Reassuring news for BB customers and fans.

Also, I had not heard of the Southwick acquisition. It may sound counterintuitive but acquisition and consolidation in a downturn is generally a very smart move since, among other things, asset prices are lower.