Struggling Retailer Charlotte Russe to Close All 416 Stores

Struggling Retailer Charlotte Russe to Close All 416 Stores

Fashion Chain Just the Latest to Shut Locations

BY LOU HIRSH (via CoStar)

Charlotte Russe is among several retail chains that have struggled amid rapid changes in shopping habits, including more sales made online rather than in traditional malls. Photo: Wikimedia

Charlotte Russe is among several retail chains that have struggled amid rapid changes in shopping habits, including more sales made online rather than in traditional malls. Photo: Wikimedia

Fashion retailer Charlotte Russe Holdings decided to close all its remaining 416 stores, just a month after filing for bankruptcy, the latest casualty in a retail industry that struggles with brick-and-mortar stores closing amid changes in consumer shopping habits.

Going-out-of-business sales are expected to begin immediately, according to officials at SB360 Capital Partners LLC, which was assigned to handle the struggling retailer’s assets following its Chapter 11 reorganization filing in February.

The liquidation firm said in a statement that inventory valued at about $160 million is planned to be sold through the Charlotte Russe stores. The company’s intellectual property and rights to its leases are planned to be sold separately.

Named after a French dessert, Charlotte Russe was founded in 1975 in the San Diego suburb of Carlsbad, California, but more recently had its headquarters in San Francisco. It catered primarily to young women seeking trendy apparel, shoes and accessories, with annual sales that peaked at $986 million in 2016, according to the liquidation firm.

This year’s bankruptcy filing followed the move in early 2018 by the retailer to restructure its debt by nearly 60 percent, but that does not appear to have been sufficient to keep it afloat. The retailer in February announced it was closing almost 100 stores and filed for bankruptcy as it pursued further refinancing and reorganization.

Faced with rising competition from online sellers as mall-oriented shopping declines, Charlotte Russe is the latest of several chains that have closed stores or gone completely out of business in recent months, a list that also includes Toys R Us, Payless Shoesource and Mattress Firm.

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