Filene’s Basement has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and said it agreed to sell 17 of its 25 stores, including its flagship locations in Boston and Manhattan’s Union Square, to real estate and asset management firm Crown Acquisitions.
The move came after Filene’s sold itself in April to a unit of liquidation firm Buxbaum Group as it struggled with liquidity issues after demand faltered in the face of a U.S. recession.
Filene’s Basement, known for its off-price clothing and annual “running of the brides” wedding gown sales, was put up for sale after weeks of talks with suppliers and lenders in an effort to help it avoid bankruptcy.
As sales dropped off earlier this year the 100-year-old chain announced plans to close 11 of its stores and warned in February that it may need more money beyond its current lending agreements.
Filene’s Basement was started about 100 years ago as a bargain basement for the Filene’s department store in Boston to sell its excess merchandise. Federated Department Stores, now called Macy’s Inc., had bought the chain in 1929.
Filene’s Basement had also filed for bankruptcy once before in 1999, but emerged the following year, when Value City, which later became Retail Ventures, bought its stores.