Filene’s Basement has been saved! The chain recently filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but some people with cash to throw around are buying it for $22 million. Crown Acquisitions partnered with Chetrit Group to buy 17 of the company’s 26 stores. Chetrit Group doesn’t have much experience with retail companies, but they’re confident in their abilities, the Basement, and Manhattan as a retail market. But most important, they are confident in the crappiness of the economy, which should make running Filene’s pretty easy. The luxury castoffs the Basement sells are plentiful in this economy as merchandise at Saks and Barneys goes unsold. So the merchandise Filene’s wrangles for its sales floors should be pretty good. In fact, so confident in the crappiness of the economy are the new owners, they may even open another outpost on the Upper East Side. This is either a sign of the apocalypse or a sign that the selection at Filene’s is about to get that good. Now they just need to figure out how to make shopping there not feel as depressing as a hospital visit. That thing called interior decorating would be a good place to start.
FILENE’S NEW OWNER HOPING TO ESCAPE FROM THE BASEMENT [NYP]