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Don’t Call It a Comeback: Filene’s Basement Returns

Filene's Basement

Bargain hunters, rejoice. Filene’s Basement is coming back, but this time shoppers won’t have to duel for deals.

Media reports on Wednesday hinted that the off-price retailer—which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2011 before shutting up shop in 2012—plans to relaunch as an online-only store, and confirms a new e-commerce site is coming soon.

Founded in Boston in 1909 by Edward Filene as a discount offshoot of his father’s venerable Filene’s department store chain, the Basement was bought out of bankruptcy protection in the spring of 2009 by Syms Corp., a rival off-price retailer, which subsequently went out of business less than two years later.

The last Filene’s Basement closed its doors in December 2011 and the remnants of the two retailers formed Trinity Place Holdings Inc. when they emerged from bankruptcy protection under a plan of reorganization in September 2012.

Now, as analysts predict the off-price segment will grow faster than the overall apparel sector for the next five years, the company wants to tap back into the booming discount business it helped kick-start more than a century ago.

Filene’s Basement isn’t the first fabled off-price name to fold and then relaunch online: Loehmann’s came back to life as an e-commerce site in May 2014.