Filene's Basement was founded in Boston in 1909 by Edward A. Filene as a way to sell off excess merchandise from his father's department store upstairs.
Filene’s owner Syms Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMS) today filed for bankruptcy liquidation under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in Delaware, according to a news release on the company’s website.
Syms said the schedule for store closings is not yet set but will continue through January.
The Warrensville Heights Filene’s store is the only outlet in Ohio for the retailer that traces its roots to the famous Boston department store.
Syms, which also operates namesake discount apparel stores, acquired Filene’s in 2009, and noted in September in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it had the Ohio store for sale.
In its news release, the company traced Syms’ and Filene’s woes to increased competition from department stores offering the same brands at similar discounts; a proliferation of private-label discount chains; and fewer buying opportunities as suppliers tightened inventories.
All those factors “combined with the worst economic downturn in our lifetimes” to prompt the closing of the company and its 49 stores, Syms CEO Marcy Syms said in the news release.