Claire’s, a mecca for middle school girls who want cheap accessories and free ear piercings, is reportedly about to make a drastic move to deal with its financial issues. Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, reports that Claire’s is preparing to file for bankruptcy in the next few weeks, and would pass control of the chain from their parent company, Apollo Global Management LLC, to lenders who would help ease the company’s $2 billion in debt.
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According to The Hollywood Reporter, their planned deal will allow Claire’s to keep operating its thousands of stores stores while paying its bills—at least until a new plan arises to deal with all the debt. Neither Apollo nor Claire’s has commented about a possible bankruptcy filing.
The company has lately been struggling with dwindling customer numbers and competition from online retailers, and has been trying to get its products in other stores like drugstores or supermarkets. And of course, it’s one of many retailers that are dealing with financial struggles, from Macy’s to Payless ShoeSource to Toys R Us.
The Independentnotes that Claire’s sells its products in 4,220 locations in 45 countries; it’s also apparently the world’s most popular ear piercer, with 3 million ears pierced at Claire’s each year. And of course, it’s essentially the number-one retailer for kids’ first school dances and princess Halloween costumes. If this bankruptcy deal leads to Claire’s closing up shop, girls across the country will lose a favorite, and so will grown-up women who remember the chain fondly. Even if those tiaras and earrings broke after two minutes of wear.
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