Jewelry Chain Claire’s Files for Bankruptcy
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Claire’s Stores Inc., which operates a nationwide chain of jewelry stores geared to young women and teens, said on Monday it is struggling financially and has filed for bankruptcy.
The company called the filing an attempt to restructure its balance sheet, not its operations, and eliminate some $1.9 billion of debt, though it also announced it may close some of its underperforming stores. It was unknown on Monday if the company had plans to close its store in the Magic Valley Mall.
“This transaction substantially reduces the debt on our balance sheet and will enhance our efforts to provide the best possible experience for our customers,” company CEO Ron Marshall said in a prepared statement. “We will complete this process as a healthier, more profitable company, which will position us to be an even stronger business partner for our suppliers, concessions partners, and franchisees.”
Claire’s earned $29 million in profit last year and $1.3 billion in revenue, according to the company. “Claire’s is growing, not shrinking, its business,” officials said, noting they expect "its concessions business to grow by more than 4,000 stores in 2018.”
Still, the company is among a number of other retail stores that have suffered financial woes as more people turn to online shopping. Sears, which for years also has had a Magic Valley presence, and Toy’s R Us are among the retailers with plans to liquidate stores due to changes in consumer spending and a growing e-commerce market.
Company officials said they believe with its financial restructuring, however, Claire’s will be able to survive for years to come, in part because it offers something that online markets cannot physically replicate: ear piercing.
According to the company, Claire’s, which brands itself as “A Girl’s Best Friend,” has pierced more than 100 million ears worldwide – more than 3.5 million in in the U.S. alone in 2017.
Claire’s said it expects to complete the chapter 11 process, and come out a more robust company with $150 of liquidity, by September.