Marliave Sisters update!
Three loyal shoppers find they'll always have Filene's
City Weekly, Jan. 22, 2006
After 55 years of bargain hunting at Downtown Crossing, the ''Marliave Sisters" had thought they'd seen it all. But yesterday, instead of spending money at Filene's, something extraordinary was set to happen:
Filene's would be spending money on them.
A newspaper story on Christmas Day highlighting the trio's decades-old tradition of shopping at Filene's caught the eye of Tom Kingsbury, Filene's CEO and president. To show his gratitude, Kingsbury offered to buy lunch yesterday for the women-- Ruth Humphrey, 73; Joan O'Halloran, 75; and Rita Healey, 85 -- at their favorite restaurant, the Marliave on Bosworth Street, and gave each a $50 gift card to their favorite department store.
''Lunch at the Marliave and shopping at Filene's in Downtown Crossing. What could be better?" Kingsbury wrote in a letter to the women that was hand-delivered to the restaurant. ''We thank you for your loyalty, your trust and for being such great customers."
The ''Sisters" -- their nickname at the restaurant -- said they couldn't believe their good fortune. ''Isn't that great?" said Ruth when reached by phone. ''We were shocked. We were shocked, I'm telling you."
''They've always been good," said Joan, in a separate call. ''I wish it were another store closing."
Joan guessed she might use her gift card to buy a pocketbook during the store's going-out-of-business sale, which begins later this month. Ruth and Rita, who actually are sisters, said they might make a more sentimental purchase. ''Maybe something special to remind of us Filene's when it's gone," said Ruth. ''We'll see."PETER DeMARCO
The Inside Scoop: This was really nice: my story on the ladies got them a free meal and $150 in gift cards.