May 19, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
Brooks Brothers, America’s oldest clothing company, has notified the New York State Department of Labor that it is closing its Long Island City manufacturing plant and 136 employees are going to lose their jobs.
The company will begin laying off its workers from the 39-25 Skillman Ave. factory on Aug. 18, according to a WARN notice filed with the state.
Manufacturing operations at the facility will cease on Aug. 18.
The company, best known for making high-end men’s clothing, cited “unforeseeable business circumstances prompted by COVID-19,” as the reason for the closure in its filing.
Brooks Brothers, however, told the Queens Post in a statement this morning that the decision to shut down the plant is not final.
“We delivered WARN notices this week to the impacted employees in order to provide workers with sufficient time to prepare for potential loss of employment,” the company said in a statement. “This decision is subject to change, should alternative solutions be uncovered in the near-term. The factory is incredibly meaningful to our heritage and we value our employees.”
The company, which was founded in 1818 in Manhattan, has been struggling financially for some time–even before the pandemic hit, according to reports. It is currently saddled with $600 million in debt and the owner was looking to sell the company last year.
Brooks Brothers has around 250 retail store locations across the U.S. and 40 stores in other countries, according to its website..
Meanwhile, there are other job losses coming to Queens.
Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology notified the Dept. of Labor that it is laying off a total of 66 staff members from eight locations. Four of those locations are in Queens, including Bayside, Elmhurst, Laurlelton and Ozone Park. The company did not provide a break down per location.