Sci-tech

Claire's, which has four Lehigh Valley stores, becomes latest retail bankruptcy

Claire's, which has four Lehigh Valley stores, becomes latest retail bankruptcy

The company expects to add 4,000 stores in 2018 and keep more than 1,600 Claire's and Icing U.S. locations operating.

With these commitments in place, Claire's expects to complete the chapter 11 process in September 2018, emerge with over $150 million of liquidity, and reduce its overall indebtedness by approximately $1.9 billion.

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"The company estimates that it has pierced over 100,000,000 ears worldwide", Scott Huckins, Claire's CFO, stated in the bankruptcy filing.

In addition, Claire's has reached an agreement with creditors including Elliott Management Corp and Monarch Alternative Capital LP, which will provide the company with $575 million in new capital.

According to a statement on the company's website, they are "pursuing a financial restructuring in order to eliminate a substantial portion of debt..."

Private-equity firm Apollo Global Management holds a 97 percent stake in Claire's and pushed the initial buyout plan.

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The company sells its products at more than 7,500 locations in 45 countries around the world.

The company blamed plunging shopper traffic to malls for its decline.

Claire's said Monday it is "confident" it will emerge from bankruptcy protection in September, having reduced its debt by almost $2 billion.

First Toys R Us, and now Claire's. The company made $1.3 billion in net sales past year, including $29 million in profit, but has been saddled with huge debt payments since private equity firm Apollo Global Management bought it in 2017.

Back in 2016, the company reported a growth in sales of 4.4 per cent to £127 million, at its United Kingdom locations.

It's just the latest retailer to seek bankruptcy protection, close stores or go out of business entirely.

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