The Right Place at the Right Time (Always)

When Henry Sands Brooks opened the doors of H. & D. H. Brooks & Co. 200 years ago (it wasn’t until 1850 that we formally became “Brooks Brothers”), the location of the store centered around the prosperous and bustling seaport on the corner of Catherine and Cherry Streets in lower Manhattan. An innovator among his peers, Henry wanted to be at the center of the energy and aspirations of this emerging metropolis. As the population grew in this up-and-coming city, New York became the commercial hub of America. At this time, trade and business expanded with the community, moving its way up through the island of Manhattan, and Brooks would soon follow.

A chronological map from 1926 showing part of lower and midtown Manhattan and the six various locations and buildings of Brooks Brothers

Opening five shops along the way, each located near the latest hot spot of the city, Brooks Brothers eventually found a home at the corner of 44th Street and Madison Avenue in 1915, nearly 100 years after opening its first location. It was no coincidence—with the opening of Grand Central Terminal, and with New York’s prominent university and social clubs in the surrounding area—Brooks Brothers chose to locate its flagship store near the places where customers dined, worked and socialized.

An illustration of the Brooks Brothers store, on Broadway and Grand Street in New York City

This was not the first time that the location of our customers dictated the location of our stores. In 1909, at the request of some of our most prominent patrons, who spent their summers in Newport, Rhode Island, Brooks Brothers opened a seasonal store and for the first time would set up shop outside of New York. Shortly thereafter, Brooks opened another seasonal store, this time farther south, in Palm Beach, Florida, to appeal to those customers searching for warmer weather during wintertime.

When our customer base grew even further, we opened our first international flagship in Tokyo in 1979. Today, Brooks Brothers operates stores in more than 45 countries, serving the needs of the global community and bringing the universal aspirations of its founder to the world.

Present day: 346 Madison Avenue, Brooks Brothers’ flagship store and corporate headquarters since 1915