Few southerners are familiar with the department store Filene’s, especially since it’s retail outlet was bought out in 2006 by Macy’s. Macy’s then removed Filene’s name from the stores and replaced them with it’s own. Filene’s Basement was the “outlet” version of the retail store, having served as a place to liquidate overstock back in the early 1900’s. The companies diverged in 1988.
Now, in 2011 Filene’s Basement, the last storefront bearing the name will be closing it’s doors. This is sad to me not only because I used to shop there with my mother as a young child but also because my grandfather, Richard Fyler Sr., retired as a caretaker for Mr. Filene’s decedents. They had a profound influence on my upbringing as they built a recreation center for the children of the town as well as funding the only local library.
This once great business now has between $1 and $10 million in assets and between $50 and $100 million in liabilities per Boston.com. It may be nostalgia, but I think it’s always sad when a legacy dies and this company is no exception.