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Loehmann's Files for Bankruptcy for the Third Time

Could this be the end?
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Discount designer goods emporium Loehmann's isn't doing great -- still. On Sunday, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the third time. The company filed first in 1999 and again in 2010.

In its filing, Loehmann's listed $500 million in debt and $100 million in assets. It's owned by Whippoorwill Associates, which, together with Dubai-based private equity firm Istithmar World, helped it out of its previous bankruptcy difficulties. According to Reuters, the chain has hired liquidators and plans to sell assets. Though, given the way it's dug itself out of bankruptcy in the past, that doesn't necessarily mean this is the end. Yet.

Loehmann's revealed plans for a high-end revamp last summer in a New York Times article detailing a new personal shopping service. It seems safe to say that those efforts didn't pay off, and that Loehmann's could be in danger of closing. It's one of the last retailers of its kind, with former competitors like Filene's Basement and Daffy's shuttering in recent years. And, as WWD points out, online retailers such as HauteLook and The Outnet are now able to offer discounted designer goods more quickly. Additionally, Nordstrom announced plans to launch an online version of its rapidly growing Nordstrom Rack business early next year, and this year Barneys launched a year-round online version of its Warehouse Sale. Meaning: It looks like the competition for Loehmann's is only going to get stiffer.

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