Friday, June 17, 2022


In1909 Edward A. Filene came up with the idea of selling surplus and overstocked merchandise in the basement of his father’s department store in Boston. He named it "Filene’s Automatic Bargain Basement”  and it was an immediate success.

I was 16 when I made my visit to the famous discount store. This was in 1949 and I waited in line until the doors opened. It took all my strength to hold my own against the push of all those bodies.

Once inside I elbowed my way to one of the tables and was thrilled to see a peach colored cashmere sweater. It was a brand name in my size and at an incredibly good price. I held it high in front of me to inspect for flaws & before I knew it a hand reached out and snatched it from my grasp. I was so surprised that I didn’t even try to see where it went.

This was not an auspicious beginning and I decided to step back and reconnoiter. I saw that the savvy shoppers had large Filene shopping bags. They would quickly scan a table and shove anything that seemed of interest into the bag. When they had their fill they would retire to the end of the room where large mirrors were hung. Then they would take their time inspecting their choices…keeping everything close and out of reach from the other shoppers.

Now I had the maneuver down pat and, at the end of the day I’d spent very little and had quite a bit to show for it. However, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was worth it.

I was exhausted and, although glad to say that I’d visited the famous Filene’s Bargain Basement I never went back. 


Blogger Marie Smith said...

Quite and introduction to the auspicious Filene’s. You learned a lot in one visit, Ginnie

2:36 PM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

Glad you stuck it out at least that once. Think having my choice ripped from my hands would have done me in.

6:36 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Oddly, your post about Ray Bolger came up in my Reader, but that isn’t officially posted yet (I don’t think). But here we are with your frenzied shopping experience.

7:32 AM  

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