Few discount stores have become as iconic as Filene’s Basement, but it’s not only luxury brands that are suffering because of the economic downturn. The discount store which is owned by Retail Ventures Inc. may have to file for bankruptcy in the near future. Retail Ventures noted in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it would classify the business as “held for sale” in its annual statements. As a result, extra time to close their books for the year will be required.
The iconic discount store has been in operation for 100 years. It was acquired by Value City Department Stores LLC (which later became Retail Ventures), in 2000 from May Department Stores Company.
This potential bankruptcy news comes after the closing of 11 Filene’s Basement stores in January 2009. The leases for all of their other locations underwent negotiations, but with 25 remaining stores it seems that the chain’s performance just keeps on slipping. It’s being reported that despite vigorous negotiations of leases, the savings are not likely to lead to sustainable operations for Filene’s Basement.
A spokesperson noted that “for 100 years shoppers have been able to turn to Filene’s Basement in good and bad economic times and find designer labels at prices they could afford. Filene’s Basement, like so many retailers, has been hurt by the current economic climate. As we stated a few weeks ago, all strategic alternatives are being pursued to deal with the current economic realities and this most recent filing is consistent with that.”