Filene’s Basement Rises From Retail Graveyard As Zombie Brand

FilenesbasementWhen a company declares bankruptcy and goes out of business, sometimes its brands don’t settle into a dignified death. Sometimes they’re resurrected days or decades later, roaming the earth as zombie retailers. The latest brand to be raised from the dead is off-price retailer Filene’s basement, which closed in 2011. The brand’s owners have been waiting for the right time to reopen, and closeout retailers are super-hot right now.

While Macy’s has opened its first off-price Macy’s Backstage store in NeW York, the revived Filene’s Basement will live online only, at least at first. The company has promised to revive its annual “Running of the Brides” one-day bridal gown sale, but hasn’t said whether that will be online somehow or held in person as a pop-up shop.

While remaining Filene’s stores became Macy’s stores, the Filene’s Basement chain of off-price shopping destinations was spun off into its own business and had different ownership from its former parent company.

It’s hard to replicate the experience of digging through bins and dodging fellow shoppers standing around in their underwear on a website, but the people behind the revived Filene’s say that they’re trying to capture the serendipity of shopping in an old Filene’s store using recommendation engines an with a wide variety of merchandise that wouldn’t be practical if they were an online-only outfit.

Filene’s Basement is coming back from the dead [Washington Post]

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