Linda Lynn of Baltimore Inc., a family-owned chain of women's clothing stores that served the Baltimore area for 51 years, has filed for Chapter 7 liquidation in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Baltimore.
The filing Wednesday came almost three weeks after Linda Lynn abruptly closed four suburban stores and consolidated its wares for a closeout sale at its remaining location in Lexington Mall. The downtown store closed Saturday.
Marc Diamand, vice president of Linda Lynn, said that "the economy played a major role" in the demise of the company and "a couple of locations were bleeding us."
"Last year was not a good year," he said. "Thanksgiving didn't materialize. Christmas didn't materialize." He added that the news media hurt retailers by scaring the consumer with gloomy economic news.
Besides the recession, Mr. Diamand said, the company was hamstrung by a general malaise in the fashion industry. "There's not a lot of new fashion out there," he said.
In the absence of new fashion ideas, customers flocked to discount outlets and avoided middle-market stores like Linda Lynn, he said.
Before the suburban closings Dec. 29, Linda Lynn employed 60 to 70 employees, Mr. Diamand said.
Mr. Diamand said the closing of Linda Lynn -- which his father, Arthur Diamand, had bought in 1951 -- was "kind of tough" for his family. He said he was proud, however, that Linda Lynn had paid all its employees up to their last day of work.
"We have always been legitimate business people, and we have always operated with integrity," he said.