In this economy, we find it strange that some discounter retailers can do so well, while others suffer.
Take the 100-year-old Filene’s Basement, for example, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection yesterday. That discount clothing seller wasn’t able to hang on, yet much larger competitors like TJX Cos. and Ross Stores have done well in this environment.
At least one firm is betting on Filene’s Future, Crown Acquisitions is buying 17 of Filene’s 24 stores. Stanley Chera, Crown’s founder, says in this article that old owner Retail Ventures had trouble running Filene’s due to a lack of credit. His firm won’t have that problem, he says, though much of the deal hinges on the chain’s Downtown Boston flagship store getting rebuilt. That project was put on hold late last year by Vornado Realty Trust due to a lack of financing.
Does Filene’s just need new ownership to breathe life back into the chain, or does the concept have other flaws that need to be addressed?