I must thank my friend and Sarah Palin expert and author Shushannah Walshe for tweeting this info via The Washington Post. RIP Filene’s Basement and Syms. Filene’s Basement is one discount store I don’t like, and haven’t liked since I visited the original basement in Downtown Boston. Syms, which I do like, bought it out of bankruptcy but apparently could not revive it. So, while “An Educated Consumer Is Our Best Customer” was the tagline of Sy Syms’ long-running ad campaign, apparently the Syms family wasn’t educated enough to know that the chain they bought was beneath them (in my opinion). Now I don’t know the details– whether it was Filene’s sales that brought the company down or the two combined–but I’ve found Missoni and Krizia pieces at Syms, while Filene’s was selling crap. By crap, I mean brands you could buy in discount department stores like Sears, Kohl’s and jcpenney (which, as I’ve mentioned before, sell some great lower-priced lines from great designers, although I never mentioned the $14.99 I ♥ Ronson blazer I got at jcpenney–that’s how they are spelling it these days). It was basically akin to Burlington Coat Factory. (Blah!)
The one positive: It means there will be a liquidation sale. And that information comes straight from a message Marcy Syms posted on the company’s Web site. Yes, Syms suits were irregular, but they were from many of the best designers–and they did alterations! What discount store does alterations?! (If anyone knows, let me know.) So while I don’t mourn Filene’s passing, Syms–the commercials that ran throughout my childhood, the hours spent combing the racks for just a few gems–I do mourn. To see Marcy Syms’ statememt, click here.
I wonder if another store could hold a “Running of the Brides” for wedding dresses like Filene’s Basement did. If you’ve ever seen that on the news, those were crazy. I wasn’t planning on getting mine that way, though (although I will try to find a deal in a more civilized fashion).
Now I wonder what will take its place on that prime Upper West Side corner of 79th Street and Broadway, its location in Union Square or even its space in the Bergen Town Center (home to so many fabulous department store outlets).
On a side note, I have taken my day job as a television reporter up again, so, I apologize in advance for posting less frequently, but I will keep trying to help you live life fully without paying full price. However, in the name of shameless self-promotion, if you live in New Jersey and have FiOS, be sure to watch me every weeknight on FiOS 1.