Filenes Files For Bankruptcy Protection With Syms

Filenes Bankruptcy – The discount retailer Syms and its subsidiary Filenes Basement have filed for bankruptcy protection and plan to close all 46 of their stores.

Syms acquired Filenes Basement, also a discount retailer, out of bankruptcy protection in the spring of 2009 for $62.4 million, but it struggled to turn the retailer around. The discount chain is known for its wedding dress blowout sales.

Syms and the retailer stores are mostly in the Eastern United States and employ about 2,450 people, Syms said. The company struggled to stay afloat amid tough competition and consumers who have slowed their spending.

The company, based in Secaucus, N.J., announced in May that it was exploring strategic options, including a potential sale.

Syms started the company in 1959, buying excess merchandise directly from manufacturers at a discount.

The retailer was started in 1909 in Boston by William Filene, initially as a place for the department store to sell excess merchandise.

The liquidation is expected to run through about January. Syms and Filenes will be jointly administered during the bankruptcy. The companies are seeking court approval to hire someone to handle the merchandise liquidation and conduct sales.

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