Syms and Filene's File for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

U.S. discount clothing retailer Syms and its Filene's Basement brand have filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The liquidation of stores is expected to run through January 2012. Syms cited increased competition and the economy as reasons for the companies' downturns.
"This has been a challenging time for Syms and Filene's Basement," says Marcy Syms, CEO of Syms. "We have been faced with increased competition from large department stores that now offer the same brands as our stores at similar discounts, a proliferation of private label discount chains, a decline in buying opportunities as brand name labels have reduced overruns by improving their supply chain management — all combined with the worst economic downturn in our lives. All these factors affected both chains."
Syms and Filene's are seeking court approval to retain an agent to handle the liquidation of merchandise and for authorization to conduct going out of business sales. They are also seeking court approval for Cushman & Wakefield to assist in the sale of company-owned real estate; Rothschild to serve as financial advisor; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom as bankruptcy counsel and Alvarez & Marsal as restructuring advisors, with A&M Managing Director Jeff Feinberg to serve as president and COO.
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