Bebe Stores to close all stores, becoming latest retail casualty

Bebe Stores to close all stores, becoming latest retail casualty

Bebe Stores plans to close all of its locations.

Women's clothing retailer Bebe Stores said Friday that it would close all of its locations after a string of losses, becoming the latest casualty in the retail sector as the fallout from online competition and shifting fashion preferences spreads.

The company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it had signed a deal with liquidator Tiger Capital Group to sell all of its remaining inventory. The retailer expects to close all of its stores by the end of May 2017.

The exact number of stores was not immediately available. Bebe had 180 locations as of Jan. 2, according to a separate SEC filing. The company said in a March 22 press release that it had 134 retail stores and 34 outlet locations and sold products through another 75 locations.

The company's demise, which apparently comes without a bankruptcy filing, continues a wave of implosions among national retailers, as malls face declining foot traffic.

Bebe joins clothing store chains The Limited and Wet Seal among the recent chains to go away. Rue21 also recently said it would close up to 400 stores.

Retailers are grappling with intense online competition, namely from Amazon, and nimble brick-and-mortar competitors such as H&M and Forever 21.

Bankruptcy filings of other retailers within the last several weeks have included Payless ShoeSource, Gander Mountain and HHGregg.

Details of Bebe's liquidation plans were not immediately available Friday. Executives at the company's California headquarters could not be reached for comment. Representatives for Tiger Capital Group were not immediately available for comment.

Bebe's strategy was predicated on designing and selling its own line of women's clothing that it called "unique, sophisticated and timelessly sexy," which the chain said defined "next-generation chic while staying true to its assertive, provocative origins."

Its products included active wear, tops, dresses and accessories.

Founded by CEO Manny Mashouf in San Francisco, Calif. in 1976, the store drew its name from Shakespeare's phrase, "To be, or not to be."

The company had previously said it would close 21 locations.

Bebe had said in March that it would explore "strategic alternatives for the company," which often includes a sale.

The company's sales for the first six months of its 2017 fiscal year, a period that ended Dec. 31, totaled $189.2 million, down 13.5% from a year earlier. The company posted a net loss of $13 million during that period, down from $22.5 million a year earlier.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
WhatsApp rises as a major force in news media

WhatsApp rises as a major force in news media..

21-Jun, 19:30

WhatsApp is becoming one of the prevailing ways people discover and...

DUP letters: Party lobbied to stop NI couples marrying in Scotland

DUP letters: Party lobbied to stop NI couples marrying in Scotland..

21-Jun, 11:18

The Scottish Government has released letters from the Democratic Unionist...

China cracks down on toothpick crossbow toys

China cracks down on toothpick crossbow toys..

22-Jun, 00:55

If you think fidget spinners can be dangerous toys, wait until you come...

The Latest: Pence visiting military camp near Korean DMZ

The Latest: Pence visiting military camp near Korean DMZ..

16-Apr, 20:48

The Latest on U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in South Korea (all times...

Pacific ministers commit to move ahead with pact without US

Pacific ministers commit to move ahead with pact without US..

21-May, 01:24

The Pacific Rim trade ministers meeting in Vietnam committed Sunday to...

Burundi ex-deputy leader returns home, criticizes opposition

Burundi ex-deputy leader returns home, criticizes opposition..

21-Feb, 04:42

A former vice president of Burundi who fled the country after criticizing...

UK Conservatives take long-held Labour Party seat

UK Conservatives take long-held Labour Party seat..

24-Feb, 02:24

Britain's governing Conservative Party has seized a parliamentary seat...