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Filene
Filene's Basement Celebrates 100 Years of Bargains
Published: 2009/10/21
Channel: brovio
1990 FILENE
1990 FILENE'S One Day Sale Commercial
Published: 2010/07/17
Channel: tapedfromcable
Filene
Filene's Demo
Published: 2013/07/31
Channel: iFnLuvBos
Running of the Brides - Filenes Basement Wedding Dress Sale
Running of the Brides - Filenes Basement Wedding Dress Sale
Published: 2007/10/12
Channel: campdc1
The running of the brides at Filene
The running of the brides at Filene's
Published: 2011/02/18
Channel: CBS News
The running of the brides at Filene
The running of the brides at Filene's
Published: 2011/02/18
Channel: CBS
Crazy brides! Running of the brides at Filene
Crazy brides! Running of the brides at Filene's Basement in Atlanta
Published: 2012/10/24
Channel: Nelson's News
Stanley Hiller demonstrates his "Hiller Copter" and Filene
Stanley Hiller demonstrates his "Hiller Copter" and Filene's Dept. stores deliver...HD Stock Footage
Published: 2014/07/02
Channel: CriticalPast
The Elevator From Hell: The Ghost of Filene
The Elevator From Hell: The Ghost of Filene's
Published: 2014/10/31
Channel: CVE9120
Filene
Filene's Basement closes its doors
Published: 2011/12/29
Channel: The Boston Globe
The Filene
The Filene's Rush
Published: 2007/07/13
Channel: WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore
Brides-to-be race to
Brides-to-be race to 'Running of the Brides' sale
Published: 2011/02/19
Channel: AFP news agency
Brides descend on gown sale at Filene
Brides descend on gown sale at Filene's Basement
Published: 2015/07/21
Channel: AP Archive
Filene
Filene's
Published: 2017/06/24
Channel: Al Foster - Topic
Filene
Filene's roof #1
Published: 2013/05/09
Channel: Geoff Martin
Sneak peek: Old Filene
Sneak peek: Old Filene's Basement gets new look
Published: 2014/08/26
Channel: WCVB Channel 5 Boston
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino on Filene
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino on Filene's Basement
Published: 2014/10/31
Channel: brovio
Filene
Filene's Basement to close in January
Published: 2011/11/02
Channel: The Boston Globe
1990 Estee Lauder Paulina Porizkova Perfect Lipstick Filene
1990 Estee Lauder Paulina Porizkova Perfect Lipstick Filene's commercial
Published: 2016/07/02
Channel: 630redhead
Running of the Brides at Filene
Running of the Brides at Filene's Basement
Published: 2011/11/06
Channel: John Wilcox
1992 Ralph Lauren Safari Filene
1992 Ralph Lauren Safari Filene's Ad
Published: 2010/07/07
Channel: DCTGoddess
1992 Filene
1992 Filene's Basement Commercial
Published: 2010/04/28
Channel: tapedfromcable
Running of the Brides- Filenes Basement  August 2008
Running of the Brides- Filenes Basement August 2008
Published: 2008/08/01
Channel: Annie Nguyen
Brides Blitz Filene
Brides Blitz Filene's Basement
Published: 2009/08/17
Channel: Washington Post
The Running of the Brides! Boston MA 2009 Hynes Convention Center - Stephen Scott Passarelli
The Running of the Brides! Boston MA 2009 Hynes Convention Center - Stephen Scott Passarelli
Published: 2009/08/22
Channel: Stephen Scott Passarelli
Fabulous Finds #2: Loehmann
Fabulous Finds #2: Loehmann's, Filene's and ZooShoos
Published: 2011/04/12
Channel: TuTuBeauty28
Filene
Filene's Basement
Published: 2015/02/13
Channel: Emperor X - Topic
Brides running into Filene
Brides running into Filene's
Published: 2008/08/22
Channel: thewooddove
Filene
Filene's Basement: Inside a Fired Customer's Case Solution & Analysis- TheCaseSolutio...
Published: 2016/09/23
Channel: TheCaseSolutions com
Annual Filene
Annual Filene's Basement Tent Event - The Boston Truckah
Published: 2016/06/16
Channel: The Boston Truckah
Peabody MA: Montgomery Vector Hydraulic Elevator Macy
Peabody MA: Montgomery Vector Hydraulic Elevator Macy's (formerly Filene's) NorthShore Mall
Published: 2017/05/13
Channel: MBTA and Elevators
Filene
Filene's - Downtown Crossing
Published: 2008/08/29
Channel: Peter Goudy
Yahoo!, Filene
Yahoo!, Filene's Basement: Hot Trends
Published: 2011/11/08
Channel: TheStreet
Schindler Elevator Macy
Schindler Elevator Macy's (Formerly Filene's) South Shore Plaza Mall Boston, MA
Published: 2016/04/30
Channel: skyvator
Shopping at Filenes Basement with Keira
Shopping at Filenes Basement with Keira
Published: 2009/12/20
Channel: iamnotgreg
Out of Business Filene
Out of Business Filene's Basement
Published: 2011/12/30
Channel: Sample Sally
Filene
Filene's Basement - Running of the Brides® The Boston Classic
Published: 2010/03/01
Channel: brovio
Filene
Filene's Basement Running of the Brides
Published: 2010/01/15
Channel: ExaminerJewel
Filene
Filene's - Downtown Crossing
Published: 2008/08/29
Channel: Peter Goudy
Filene
Filene's Basement and Syms Brand Merge
Published: 2010/03/31
Channel: brovio
Filenes Demo
Filenes Demo
Published: 2013/07/21
Channel: NelsonAndBronte1
Filene
Filene's Basement Running of the Brides®: NYC 02/2010 -Cheer 3
Published: 2010/02/12
Channel: WeddingWire
Filene
Filene's Basement Goodies!!!!!
Published: 2010/02/19
Channel: Reneetiamiller
Filene
Filene's - Downtown Crossing
Published: 2008/08/29
Channel: Peter Goudy
Filene
Filene's - Downtown Crossing
Published: 2008/08/26
Channel: Peter Goudy
Boston officials announce new developer for Filene
Boston officials announce new developer for Filene's site
Published: 2012/02/22
Channel: The Boston Globe
V   2011 12 28 Filene
V 2011 12 28 Filene's Basement goes out of business
Published: 2013/07/14
Channel: Ming Liu
Filene
Filene's Running of the Bride's
Published: 2011/04/29
Channel: Kstreet Mag
Filene
Filene's Basement Running of the Brides®: NYC 02/2010 -Cheer 5
Published: 2010/02/12
Channel: WeddingWire
Filene
Filene's Last Days in Boston
Published: 2013/07/29
Channel: woodchuckindustries
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Filene's
Industry Retail
Fate Acquired by Macy's
Successor Macy's
Founded 1881; 136 years ago (1881) (as Filene’s Sons and Co.)
Founder William Filene
Defunct September 9, 2006 (2006-09-09)
Headquarters Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Products Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, and housewares
Parent Federated Department Stores
(1929-88, 2005-06)
The May Department Stores Company
(1988-2005)
Website Archived official website at the Wayback Machine (archive index)

Filene's was an American department store, headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts; it operated throughout New England and in New York. It was owned by Federated Department Stores from 1929 until 1988, at which time it was acquired by The May Department Stores Company. In 2005, Federated Department Stores bought May Department Stores, which resulted in Federated reacquiring Filene's. In September 2006, Federated retired the Filene's brand and converted the majority of its stores to Macy's over the course of 2006-07.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

Filene’s was founded in 1881 by William Filene under the name Filene’s Sons and Co. William Filene was a German Jewish immigrant from Posen, Prussia, who immigrated to Boston in 1848. By 1881 Filene had built up many small retail shops around Boston creating his own department store.

Shoppers hurry around Filene's in Boston. Jordan Marsh can be seen in the forefront with the large Filene's building at center

Although William Filene is credited with creating Filene’s, it was his sons, Edward and Lincoln, who took the store into greatness.[1] Edward and Lincoln were two of the most well known businessmen in America and were responsible for turning their father’s clothing store into one of the largest department stores in the country. The two sons assumed management of the store in 1891 and inherited the store upon their father’s death in 1901.[1] In 1908 Edward Filene opened the automatic bargain annex or Filene's Basement as a way to sell excess merchandise from the upstairs department store.[2]

He also developed an automatic mark-down schedule to mark down merchandise still used today. Edward's influence gave Filene’s an early reputation as a customer oriented store with slogans like “money back if not satisfied.”

A flagship store, Filene's Department Store, was completed in 1912 on the corner of Washington and Summer streets by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham as his last major project. By 1929 Filene’s expanded the flagship building, converting the block around Washington, Summer, Hawley and Franklin streets into one department store.[1] Also in 1929, Filene’s joined Abraham & Straus and Lazarus as the founding members of Federated Department Stores.

Suburban expansion[edit]

From the 1930s through 1990s Filene’s continued expanding beyond New England with the country growing and adapting to new shopping malls. However, Filene’s was kept at arms' length by rival Jordan Marsh, whose flagship store, like Filene's, was located in Downtown Crossing in Boston, and was also making the transition, expanding into shopping malls. In 1947, Filene’s Basement started its annual bridal gown sale. Lines extending around the store made it famous. In 1988, after the leveraged buyout of Federated by Campeau Corp. of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the division was sold to May Department Stores Co. along with Foley's of Houston. It was then that Filene's and Filene's Basement were disassociated. In 1992 Filene's absorbed G. Fox & Co. of Hartford, Connecticut, and Steiger's in 1994, two other divisions of May Company. The 1990s saw a doubling of the Filene's organization as May invested in new stores and broadened Filene's price and product assortments. In 2002 it assumed operational control of the Kaufmann's stores in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and western New York.

Filene's ad on back of Red Sox ticket

Closing[edit]

On August 30, 2005, Federated Department Stores completed its previously announced acquisition of May Department Stores, thus reuniting Federated and Filene's. On that day the Filene's/Kaufmann's organization was dissolved and the management of its stores was assumed by Macy's East and the new Macy's Midwest. The store's website was largely consolidated into macys.com during spring 2006. On September 9, 2006, the Filene's name and brand were eliminated as Federated converted Filene's to the Macy's masthead. The landmark flagship Filene's department store at Downtown Crossing closed. Federated did not convert this store to a Macy's as there was already a Macy's across the street (the former Jordan Marsh flagship store). But Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino preferred "marrying Macy's to the Filene's building" because of its importance to Downtown Crossing and to Boston.[3] Federated never did switch Macy's leaving an empty department store in the heart of Downtown Crossing. When Filene's closed, the Boston Landmarks Commission unanimously voted to protect two of the buildings that housed Filene's. The two oldest buildings were protected including the main 1912 Filene's store building and a 1905 former glassware and china seller's building on the opposite corner.[4] The two newer buildings, built in 1951 and 1973, were demolished in 2008.

Boston's own variation of the saying meet me under the clock with Filene's clock on Washington street

Surprisingly, the public did not protest the closing, unlike of Marshall Field's in Chicago, and Kaufmann's in Pittsburgh; the closing represented another closing of long-time institutions in Boston. By the time of the closing, Boston had already lost many local companies to larger companies in the region, especially New York City, including The New York Times' acquisition of the Boston Globe and the closing of Bank of Boston and Fleet Bank. In 1996, Jordan Marsh was acquired by Macy’s, followed by Filene’s in 2006. Many Bostonians felt a sense of loss and emptiness.[3] Although the Boston Filene’s building is protected by the Landmarks Commission, it only protected the façade of the buildings. This allowed the developers of the site to rip out the building's interior, including the original paneling and beauty first seen in 1912. When the project ran out of money, the buildings were left completely gutted.

The former flagship Boston store is now home to Irish retailer Primark's first US location.[5]

Filene's Basement[edit]

Under the direction of company president Edward Filene, Filene's opened its famous "Automatic Bargain Basement" in 1909, which became a heavily visited tourist attraction. The concept of the bargain basement was not new (Marshall Field's opened the first in 1879), but Filene's basement was well lit and ostentatiously decorated. The basement had its own staff which bought surplus, factory clearances, overstock, or closeout merchandise - Filene boasted that he had once sold more than 7,000 pairs of woolen underwear in two July days. Goods were marked down according to an automatic schedule; an item that had been on sale for 12 days was marked down by 25 percent, after 18 days by 50 percent, after 24 days by 75 percent, and after 30 days it was given away. Ninety percent of goods sold in the basement were purchased within the first 12 days of sale.[6] Filene's Basement was separately owned and operated by Retail Ventures, Inc. until 2009 when it was sold to Buxbaum Group, a liquidation company. The Filene's Basement stores were not affected by the Filene's-Macy's merger, since the "Basement" had long been under totally separate ownership from Filene's. However, in 2007, the flagship Filene's Basement location was closed while the old Filene's building was being gutted and rebuilt. At the time of the closing, the store was expected to move back into its basement space in 2010; however, the Filene's Basement company entered its third Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2011, liquidating and permanently closing all of its stores in December 2011.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Dshistory.com Remembering Great American Department Stores
  2. ^ Boston.com A history of Filene's basement
  3. ^ a b Boston.com It's official: Filene's brand will be gone
  4. ^ Boston.com, City makes Filene's site a landmark 2 of 4 buildings must be preserved
  5. ^ [1] A UK-based American tells the US what to expect from Primark
  6. ^ Jacobs, Meg (2004). Pocketbook Politics: Economic Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 
  • Berkley, George E. (1998). The Filene's. International Pocket Library (Branden). 

External links[edit]

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