Another retailer can be added to the growing list of recession victims. Filene's Basement filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today, citing slow sales and tough competition from other discount stores like T.J. Maxx. Filene’s is selling 17 of its 25 stores to Crown Acquisitions for $22 million, and filing for bankruptcy protection will give the chain a clean debt slate. Still, The New York Times points out that overcoming a Chapter 11 filing isn't easy in this economic climate, citing the fate of the liquidated Circuit City chain.
We can thank Filene's for developing a market for discounted goods. It's credited as being one of the first retailers to offer automatic markdowns, the idea to reduce prices on items that have been on the floor for a certain period of time. Hopefully, the 100-year-old chain will emerge from its second bankruptcy as a stronger competitor.