National Jeweler Network

Financial Reporting

Discount chain Loehmann’s files Chapter 11

By Michelle Graff

December 18, 2013

New York--For the third time, 91-year-old retail chain Loehmann’s has filed for bankruptcy and this time the chain plans to sell to a group of liquidators, court papers show.

Based in the Bronx, N.Y., Loehmann’s is a department store that sells designer fashions at discount prices, including merchandise from a number of fine jewelry and watch designers. Jewelry and watch brands carried by Loehmann’s include Bulgari, Baume & Mercier, Charriol, Raymond Weil and Scott Kay.

Frieda Loehmann started the store in Brooklyn in 1921. As of Tuesday, the chain consisted of 40 stores in 11 states plus Washington, as well as the retailer’s website, according to Loehmanns.com.

In its Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition filed Sunday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, the chain lists assets of $50 million to $100 million, but $100 million to $500 million in debt. 

Loehmann’s also lists between 1,000 and 5,000 creditors, with the top 30 unsecured creditors mentioned by name in the petition.

Among the top 30 is Circa, a New York-based buyer and seller of watches, jewelry and diamonds.

According to court papers, Circa’s claim totals $191,998. Circa did not respond to an inquiry made Tuesday about the nature of its relationship with Loehmann’s.

The downfall of Loehmann’s, as with so many other retailers including competitors Daffy’s and Filene’s Basement, was Internet competition.

As Women’s Wear Daily stated, “Consumers determined that their business model of securing season-old merchandise and selling at up to 65 percent off (is) an old model. That’s because online competitors can offer the same discount for current season merchandise.”

Court papers state that Loehmann’s plan is to sell to SB Capital Group LLC, Tiger Capital Group LLC and A & G Realty Partners LLC, three companies that have handled other retailer liquidations. The deal is subject to the approval of the bankruptcy court.