Business, Finance & Economics

Filene’s Basement files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection


Shoppers grab gowns at Filene's Basement's annual Running of the Brides event at a store in Columbus, Ohio, on May 20, 2011.


Jamie Sabau

Discount retailers Filene’s Basement and its parent company Syms Corp. are going out of business. Syms filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday and said it would shut down all of its stores by the end of January 2012, CNN Money reported.

25 Syms stores and 21 Filene's Basement stores will close, putting nearly 2,500 employees out of work, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

Syms chief executive Marcy Syms said in a statement that increasing competition and the “worst economic downturn in our lifetimes” had forced her company’s hand, the Boston Globe reported.

“The filings today are the result of a process that has been taking place for several months,” Syms said. “Our board has conducted a rigorous assessment of all the strategic options and alternatives available and after careful consideration has come to the conclusion that a bankruptcy filing and liquidation is the best way of maximizing value for all stakeholders.”

CNN Money reported:

In the fiscal year that ended in February, Syms Corp. posted a $51.7 million loss. So far this year, the company has lost $16.7 million. That was too tight for a company listing just $236 million in assets and $94 million in liabilities, according to its bankruptcy filing.

Sy Syms opened off-price retailer Syms in 1959, and Edward A. Filene launched Filene’s Basement in the basement of his father’s department store in 1909, the Boston Globe reported.

This is the third time Filene’s has sought bankruptcy protection, the Boston Globe reported. Syms bought Filene’s at an auction in June 2009.