Claire’s–yes, the jewelry spot where you got your ears pierced as a teenager–is planning to file for bankruptcy.
While the deal is not yet public, Bloomberg reported that Claire's Stores Inc. will relinquish control from Apollo Global Management LLC to creditors Elliott Capital Management and Monarch Alternative Capital, according to anonymous sources.
So does this mean it’s officially time for the popular mall store to R.I.P.? That’s to be determined.
Claire’s has racked up a $2 billion debt since Apollo bought it for $3.1 billion in 2007. Basically, Claire’s expanded at an impressive speed between 2010 and 2013, adding approximately 350 brick-and-mortar stores during those years. Unfortunately, the company has not been able to remain competitive online. Claire's also attempted to add sources of revenue by selling products through CVS and Giant Eagle supermarkets.
As Bloomberg points out, filing for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy would allow Claire’s to remain afloat, meaning it may not close down entirely. According to the Office of the U.S. Courts, this type of bankruptcy is the one many companies petition to file when they’re in debt.
According to a company statement, Claire’s currently boasts 4,220 locations in 45 countries and has pierced more than 100 million ears since 1978. It has a history of collaborating with celebrities, too. In 2014, Claire's worked with Katy Perry for a line of jewels pegged to her Prismatic World Tour.
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In December, Claire’s reportedly recalled over a dozen products from its stores after a mother in Rhode Island found asbestos in the makeup kit she bought for her 6-year-old daughter. Kristi Warner worked with a lawyer to test 17 products from the store, all of which had asbestos, according to the New York Daily News. Claire’s released a statement announcing the recall, and opened an investigation into the issue.