Filene's Basement to close its doors

November 2, 2011 (CHICAGO)

The retailer is known for its bargain wedding dress sales. Brides-to-be and their teams wait overnight for access to the store and a chance to find the perfect dress at a basement price.

The hype for the wedding dress sale apparently wasn't enough.

Filene's Basement was sold to Syms Corp. in 2009 and on Wednesday, Syms announced the entire company can't continue.

Shoppers interviewed by ABC7 just heard the news at the store.

"With a lot of the established stores that used to be down here like Marshal Fields and Carson Pirie Scott, it's kind of sad to hear some of those established names leaving us," said Mia Espinosa.

Syms cited increased competition from department stores and discount chains, decreased opportunity because large retailers were being more efficient in their buying and the economic downturn as reasons for closing.

"After careful consideration (our board) has come to the conclusion that a bankruptcy filing and liquidation is the best way of maximizing value for all stakeholders," CEO Marcy Syms said. While shoppers will miss the bargains, others, like Wayne Armstrong, felt for the workers. He said he was laid off from Carson's.

"Once somebody comes in a says they're going to buy that company, you're not safe," he said.

"They're going to do just like corporate America -- make their profit and run."

Shopper Buthaynaah Ammar said she was not surprised to hear of the closing. She said she rarely shops at Filene's Basement.

"You get tired of picking through all that stuff and still not finding anything," Ammar said. "If I'm going to spend money, I want to feel happy. But if I got to go through and dig through it, my patience isn't there."

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