New York's Crown Acquisitions, with the Chetrit Group as its partner, has bid $22 million for the stores, which it would continue operating under the Basement name. Its offer will be considered as part of an upcoming court auction during which competing bids for the Burlington-based chain's stores and assets will be fielded.
“It's a good opportunity to have a rejuvenated company with new management,” said Alan Cohen, the Basement's chief restructuring officer. All stores will continue operating in the meantime.
The storied chain, known for its automatic markdown system at Downtown Crossing and annual “Running of the Brides,” was started by Edward Filene in 1909 to sell excess merchandise from Filene's, his father's full-price department store upstairs.
Its bankruptcy filing came two weeks after former owner Retail Ventures Inc., which purchased the chain out of bankruptcy in 2000, offloaded it to an affiliate of the Buxbaum Group, a California turnaround and liquidation firm.