Filene is coming out of the Basement

Filene is coming out of the Basement

Steve’s breakdown: Coming out of bankruptcy is not easy but this was a beloved brand and I suspect there might even be some pent-up demand. Secondly, they will not be able to pull it off without advertising so go check it out.

BOSTON, MA & NEW YORK, NY: The owner of the former Filene’s Basement chain plans to emerge from bankruptcy protection this month with hopes to still make money off the iconic Boston-born retailer’s name.

A Delaware bankruptcy court judge last week approved the reorganization of Syms Corp., which bought the Basement in 2009 before filing for bankruptcy last fall and closing its stores.

The reorganized Syms, which will continue to liquidate its real estate assets for the benefit of creditors and shareholders, will be helmed by CEO Lauren Krueger, a managing member of New York-based Esopus Creek Advisors.

“It’s expected that the new management team and board will explore strategic options for the Filene’s Basement brand name when the company emerges (from bankruptcy protection) on Sept. 14,” spokesman Steven Alschuler said.

Those options will include a sale or joint-venture opportunities, according to court documents.

A planned June auction of the Filene’s Basement trademark and other intellectual property associated with the company was shelved when Macy’s Inc. raised objections. Macy’s has owned the Basement trademark since 1988 through predecessor company Federated Department Stores and had licensed the name to Syms.

Despite Macy’s court objections, the reorganized Syms will retain that “perpetual royalty-free” license for now.

Hilco Streambank, the Newton company that Syms had hired earlier this year to sell some 40 Syms- and Filene’s Basement-related trademarks — including the “Running of the Brides” — declined comment yesterday on any future sale.

“When there is a plan, it’ll get published on the court docket,” CEO Gabe Fried said.

Under Syms’ confirmed reorganization plan, former Syms CEO and majority shareholder Marcy Syms also has agreed to sell her 54 percent-plus share of Syms Corp. back to the company for $19.5 million and relinquish control.


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