Story updated in include Filene's bankrutpcy.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -
Bargain brick and mortar clothes stores Syms (SYMS) and its affiliate discount retail brand Filene's Basement filed for bankruptcy today. For Filene's it was the third bankruptcy in its 100 year history.
Syms took control of Filene's basement and 21 discount clothes stores under its name in 2009 for $63 million. Syms also operates 21 stores under its name, which is an icon in discount retail for professional clothes shoppers. Shortly thereafter, Syms founder Sy Syms died at the age of 83.Syms stock rose over 20% to $9.21 in afternoon trading on reports of its Chapter 11 petition, the stock is up nearly 30% year to date. Syms was founded by Sy Syms in 1959, who coined its slogan, "An Educated Consumer Is Our Best Customer." Not content to just serve educated clothes shoppers, Syms also established the Sy Syms School of Business at Yeshiva University in 1987 with a $12.5 million endowment. Initially named Seymour Merinsky, he opened his first store on Cortlandt Street in New York City under the name Sy Merns in 1959 that competed against his brother and father -- later changed both his and his store's name to Syms after a legal battle. Edward Filene started the the Filene's department store's in 1908 with its Downtown Crossing, Boston flagship and created its 'Basement' brand, originally called 'Automatic Bargain Basement', to liquidate unsold department store inventory. Last year, Syms planned to open a flagship fbSY combining its namesake and Filene's brand in a flagship store on Fifth Avenue between 44th and 45th Street. Syms stock rose over 10% to $8.75 on reports of the Chapter 11 petition, the stock is up nearly 20% year to date. In Secacus, New Jersey -based Syms' bankruptcy filing, the company listed assets of $236 million and liabilities of $94 million in its Chapter 11 petition.
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