Syms files for bankruptcy

NEW YORK (JTA) — Syms clothing company and its affiliate, Filene’s Basement, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

"This has been a challenging time for Syms and Filene’s Basement," Syms Corp. CEO Marcy Sims said Wednesday in announcing the bankruptcy. "We have been faced with increased competition from large department stores that now offer the same brands as our stores at similar discounts."

Sy Syms, a well-known Jewish businessman and philanthropist, founded the company in 1958, gearing his store’s merchandise and service to “educated consumers.” He also established the Sy Syms School of Business at Yeshiva University in New York in 1987.

For Filene’s Basement, which was founded in 1909 by Edward Filene, it will be the second time the fashion retailer has filed for bankruptcy. The first time was in 2009, when Filene’s Basement was sold to the Syms Corp. in a resuscitation effort.

Nationwide, Syms has 25 outlets and Filene’s Basement has 21. Both chains plan to go out of business and close all stores by the end of January.

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