DALLAS - Houston-based retailer Charming Charlie said Thursday it will close all its stores by the end of August after filing its second bankruptcy in two years.
The specialty retailer, which received kudos when it first opened for grouping its women's fashion accessories by color to create a different way to shop, has 261 stores, including 35 in Texas.
Charming Charlie exited its first bankruptcy just last year after closing about 100 stores. The company asked the bankruptcy court to allow it to honor $19 million of outstanding gift cards for 30 days.
The decision to file again was made "after the implementation of numerous cost-reduction measures" and prior store closings.
"These efforts simply were not sufficient to stabilize" the business and "ensure long-term profitability," the company said in the Delaware court filing. The company reduced its debt in its first Chapter 11, but it still didn't have the funds it needed particularly right before the holiday season when stores increase their inventory purchases.
As of the end of June, U.S. retailers had announced 7,037 store closings and 2,992 store openings, according to Coresight Research. That's ahead of all of last year, when there were 5,864 closings and 3,251 openings.
This year is expected to be another record year for closings, according to the firm which keeps track, and has said there could be 12,000 by year-end. Among the big retail liquidations this year were Payless, Charlotte Russe, Gymboree and Crazy 8. Several others are closing significant numbers of their fleets such as Family Dollar, which is closing 400 stores.
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