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Wednesday
Nov022011

Filene‚Äôs, Syms File for Bankruptcy; Plan to Close Doors

Mario Tama/Getty Images(SECAUCUS, N.J.) -- Syms Corp. and its affiliate, Filene’s Basement, filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday and announced plans to liquidate, citing increased competition in the off-price retail industry.

The stores, which are perennial favorites of bargain brides and frugal fashionistas, received no bids to be taken over.

Both chains plan to capitalize on the upcoming holiday shopping rush to liquidate their inventories, said Gary Binkoski, interim chief financial officer, according to court documents.

In total, 25 Syms locations and 21 Filene’s Basement stores will close, which is anticipated to be sometime in January after liquidation.

The bankruptcy filings were “the results of a process that has taken place for several months,” CEO Marcy Syms said in a statement.

Secaucus, N.J.-based Syms listed $236 million in assets in documents that were filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.  Of that, $97.7 million is in real estate inventories, $65.8 million merchandise inventory and $70 million in “other assets.” Total liabilities were listed at $94 million.

The court documents cited increased competition as the reason the retailers could no longer compete in the booming off-price merchandise marketplace.

Filene’s Basement has filed for bankruptcy on two other occasions. The chain was acquired at auction by Syms Corp. in June of 2009, joining together the two historic brick-and-mortar stores.

According to the company’s last financial report, Filene’s Basement employed 1,555 people, while Syms employed 910 people.

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