Syms Corporation

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Syms Corporation
Former type Public
Traded as OTCQB: SYMSQ
Industry Retail
Founded 1958
Defunct 2011
Headquarters Secaucus, New Jersey, United States
Number of locations 55 Syms & Filene's Basement[1]

SYMS Corp was an off-price retail clothing store chain, founded by Sy Syms in 1958. Its headquarters was based in Secaucus, New Jersey, where it was incorporated in 1983.[citation needed] SYMS also owned Filene's Basement, which it acquired in June 2009.[citation needed]

On November 2, 2011, SYMS and Filene’s Basement, collectively filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. All SYMS and Filene's Basement stores were closed at the end of December, 2011. The Company succumbed to the failing economy and its inability to breathe new life into its acquisition, Filene’s Basement.[citation needed]

Prior to restructuring, the Company and its subsidiary, Filene’s Basement collectively owned and operated a chain of 55 “off-price” retail stores in 16 states, which were located throughout the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions and in the Midwest, Southeast and Southwest; the Company employed approximately 3,800 full and part-time people. Each SYMS and Filene’s Basement store offered a broad range of first quality, in-season merchandise, bearing nationally recognized designer or brand-name labels for men, women and children, at prices substantially lower than those generally found in department and specialty stores.[citation needed]

In October 1983, SYMS Corp became a public company, traded on the New York Stock Exchange (SYM).[citation needed]

Leadership of the Company[edit]

Sy Syms (1926-2009),[2] who was born Seymour Merinsky, was a former sports broadcaster and regularly appeared in the company’s TV and radio commercials. He is also credited with coining the company’s slogan, “An Educated Consumer is our Best Customer.” Mr. Syms was founder of the company and remained Chairman of the Board until his death in November 2009. His daughter, Marcy Syms, succeeded him as Chair in January 2010.[citation needed]

Marcy Syms joined the family business in 1978 as Director of Marketing and Real Estate. In 1983, when SYMS Corp went public, she was named President and a year later, added the role of COO. In 1998, she was named CEO, and in 2009, she led the Company through the successful purchase of Filene’s Basement. She also steered the company through the closing and liquidation process, and eventual transition to new management (Trinity Place Holdings, Inc.). Since the closing of SYMS Corp and her departure, Marcy Syms remains an active philanthropist who has continued to facilitate raising the level of awareness for public television and the programing challenges it faces by diminished funding. In addition, she is the President of the Sy Syms Foundation and an original Trustee of the Board of Overseers at the Sy Syms School of Business.[citation needed]

Sy Syms Foundation[edit]

Founded in 1985 with his personal funds, Mr. Syms’ mission was to support education and, through his generosity, the non-profit Syms Foundation ([1]) has effected the continued growth of many institutions of higher learning including the Syms School of Business at Yeshiva University, and many organizations which provide funding for education.

The Foundation, over its 27 year history, has been hugely supportive of Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio (NPR) through the underwriting of various programming.

Marcy Syms was instrumental in developing many of the grant-relationships made possible by her late father’s generosity, and is a founding Trustee of the Foundation, elected to the role of President in 1997. The Foundation has its offices in Fort Lee, New Jersey.