Syms Corp and its Filene's Basement subsidiary have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today (2 November).

The discount retailer cited increased competition, fewer overruns by brands and the economic downturn for the reasons leading to the filing.

Syms CEO Marty Syms said the filings are the "result of a process that has been taking place for several months".

"Our board has conducted a rigorous assessment of all of the strategic options and alternatives available and after careful consideration has come to the conclusion that a bankruptcy filing and liquidation is the bes way of maximising value for all stakeholders," he added.

The company plans to liquidate its stores by the end of January 2012. Syms and Filene's Basement are seeking court approval to retain an agent to handle the liquidation of merchandise and for authorisation to conduct going out of business sales.