Loehmann’s Files Chapter 11 Again

by Harry Sheff

Loehmann'sLoehmann’s has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection again. The 92-year-old off-price retailer emerged from its 1999 and 2010 Chapter 11 filings, but a new CEO and a $25 million cash infusion weren’t enough to prevent this latest filing.

According to court documents, Loehmann’s lists $100 million in assets and $500 million in debts.

The recession and its aftermath has not been kind to traditional off-price retailers. Filene’s Basement filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009 and then was acquired by rival Syms, which in turn filed Chapter 11 in 2011 and closed all Syms and Filene’s stores the next year. In 2012, the 19-store N.J.-based Daffy’s chain went out of business.

In an interview last year with the New York Times, CEO Steven Newman said, “Our competition isn’t T. J. Maxx or Marshalls, it’s Nordstrom’s Rack, Neiman Marcus’s Last Call, Saks Off Fifth.” Clearly, that competition is tough.

Loehmann’s was founded by Frieda Loehmann in Brooklyn in 1921. It was acquired by Dubai-based private equity firm Istithmar World for $300 million in 2006. The retailer operates 40 stores in 11 states.