Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Jonathan Borge
Mar 19, 2018 @ 12:45 pm

Claire’s, the mall store that has pierced more than 100 million ears since 1978, has officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to USA Today.

Earlier this month, news broke that the company was looking to relinquish control to various creditors. The company is turning to Elliott Management and Monarch Alternative Capital to get rid of a $1.9 billion debt and return stronger by September 2018.

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The company accrued the nearly $2 billion debt after Apollo Global Management LLC purchased it for $3.1 billion in 2007. They opened 350 stores between 2010 and 2013, but were unable to remain competitive with online retailers.

While Claire’s is not expecting to go out of business, the retailers does join the ranks of other stores beloved by Americans in the ‘90s and early 2000s now facing similar financial scenarios.

Toys "R" Us

Toys "R" Us first filed for bankruptcy in September and is now planning to liquidate and close or sell its 800 stores in the U.S., according to The Washington Post. The toy company acquired an $8 billion debt, giving executives enough reason to shut down.

“I am devastated that we have reached this point,” Toys "R" Us CEO Dave Brandon told corporate staff last week, according to USA Today.

Best Buy

Another retail giant, Best Buy announced it would close 250 of its U.S. stores selling cell phones. Fortune reported that the stores only generated 1 percent of the company’s sales and that CEO Hubert Joly’s new focus will be on working with Amazon and Apple, two companies that have helped Best Buy boost its online presence.

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Abercrombie & Fitch

Earlier this month, CNBC noted that Abercrombie & Fitch will close 60 stores to focus on e-commerce in 2018.

The retailer, which also owns another popular teen brand Hollister, previously closed 40 brick-and-mortar locations in 2017 and 50 in 2016.

More Mall Staples

Other companies that previously dominated the mall retail space but are now shuttering stores include Ann Taylor, Foot Locker, and Mattress Firm.

Ascena Retail Group Inc., the company that owns Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant, announced plans to close 667 locations over two years, The Los Angeles Times reported last summer. According to Business Insider, Foot Locker plans to close 110 stores in 2018, while The Houston Chronicle reported Mattress Firm will close 175 stores this year.

Signet Jewelers Ltd., the company that owns Kay Jewelers, Zales, and Jared, will also close 200 stores, according to The Wall Street Journal.

It's a sign of the times, indeed.

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