Filene's Basement Bites The Dust: Are Small Regional Retailers Doomed?

See the sad story her:
It seems that Syms (a NY/NJ based chain) died as it tried to save Filene’s.
Of course, three bankruptcies does not make for a thriving business.
It seems that the smaller, regional retail chains are in big trouble-they cannot buy at the lowest prices, and they get killed when their markets go into recession.
For a nation-wide chain, things are easier-if NY is in recession, they can count on other states that are doing better.
At any rate, Filene’s lasted 102 years-a pretty good run.
So, will we have a future with jst a handful of nation-wide chains?
Or is there still room for regional chains?
Personally, I feel bad for the people losing their jobs-but my area is indundated with stores-I don’t see how all of them can survive.
And if this recession/depression lasts another 2-3 years (as Bernancke says), I can see things getting worse.

There was a good interview on WBUR this morning asking the exact same questions. We’ve already lost several local chains (Friendly’s, etc) and are likely to lose some others.

Sad about Filene’s, but I know of a few regional chains that are thriving. Brigham’s, Pappa-Razzi, Legal Seafoods. But those are restaurants, not clothing stores.

In 10 years, every department store will be a Macy’s or a Nordstrom’s.

I thought Filenes was originally a Chicago chain? Syms, was local to NY/NJ. ETA: I see I was wrong, it’s a Boston based chain.

I read an article that with so many stores doing their own off-branding (aka, Ann Taylor Loft, Off 5th (Sak’s) etc) and the proliferation of outlet stores, they just can’t get the quality of stock they used to for the prices they used to. Less desireable merchandise+have to pay more for it = failure.

“Welcome to Costco, I love you… welcome to Costco, I love you…”

Wait, what? Friendly’s is gone and Brigham’s is thriving? Did I miss something?

pours one out for Filene’s Basement

Brigham’s isn’t thriving. They’ve closed numerous stores in the past few years, but there are still a few hanging around for dear life, one of which is near me.

I think it will become extraordinarily harder for any regional retailer to survive in this economic climate. As what was already mentioned, they don’t have the buying power of the larger retailers – ergo, their prices are higher, and most people, by and large, are going to patronize those places which have the lower prices.

When Walmart first came into my area, people avoided it like the plague. Now there are lines up the yazoo whenever you go there :shrug:

Boscov’s had some bad times, but they’re doing OK now, and even seems to be expanding.

Keep in mind that Filene’s hasn’t been around for a while. It was bought by Macy’s many years ago. Filene’s Basement was a separate entity, owned most recently by Syms. It has been in financial trouble many times in the past and has finally succumbed.