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File: A Loehmann's store.
Loehmann's, a discount retailer which traces its roots back more than 90 years, said it will begin liquidating inventory today. The company will close seven Southern California locations, impacting more than 250 jobs in the area.
The New York-based retailer tried unsuccessfully to sell its business in November and filed for bankruptcy protection in December, citing limited access to capital and increased competition in the off-price retail niche. It was the company's third bankruptcy filing.
Loehmann's said Wednesday that a U.S. bankruptcy court has approved plans for a group of outside firms to conduct "Going Out of Business" sales at each of its 39 stores in 11 states. The seven locations in Southern California are: Long Beach, Beverly Hills, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Reseda and San Diego, according to the company's website.
The sales will include the liquidation of more than $65 million of inventory, according to the company.
Loehmann's spokeswoman Melissa Krantz said the discounts will vary from each location, but emphasized designer brands will be marked down.
She said the stores will close at the end of March and 252 Southern California store employees will be impacted.
"They have no options. The stores will be closed," Krantz told KPCC.
Frieda Loehmann opened the retailer's original store in Brooklyn in 1921. It is known for its "Back Room," where bargain shoppers search for designer clothes on the cheap.
Its demise follows the bankruptcy and subsequent liquidation of Filene's Basement in 2011 and the 2012 decision to close Daffy's Inc. - two other East Coast discount retailers.
Weak economic conditions in several key markets nationwide hurt its performance, according to the company. Krantz said the chain also faced competition from outlet malls and a crowded market for discounts on designer goods.
"I think Loehmann's was a victim of that competitive market," Krantz said.