Claire’s Stores Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy – What Does That Mean?
If your ears are pierced, I'm willing to bet you got them pierced at Claire's. Are their piercing days in the past?
Is there someone out there trying to destroy everything that is whole and good in life? If you're a child of the 80's and 90's, these last few weeks have been rough. Just last week we heard about the closing of Toys 'R' Us and now we are hearing about Claire's Stores filing for bankruptcy.
Now before we get to what that means, let's reminisce.
It's December and I'm 10 years old. We're in Texas visiting extended family when my oldest brother says "Hey, let's go to the mall." Of course, I'd never turn that down so we go and he takes me right into Claire's. He tells me that his Christmas gift for me is to get my ears pierced (something my mom was so against at the time) and that he had already talked to mom about it. It was the coolest gift I had ever received because I'd been begging to get my ears pierced for about three years at that point.
Claire's is like a rite of passage for pre-teen and teenage girls.
Now they are filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Although this tends to be the beginning of the end for many businesses, it's not an automatic death sentence. According to USA Today, Claire's will look to "escape huge debts preventing the company from shimmering in a dim environment for retail." It's a result of private equity buyouts and ridiculous payments looming overhead. This is the same thing that happened to Toys 'R' Us.
The ear-piercing giant (with over 100 million ears to its credit) is seeking help in cutting its debt and remains confident that it will survive this. As reported by USA Today, Claire's says they are looking to offload $1.9 billion in debt. If they do survive, expect a stronger brand in September.
Across the globe, Claire's operates more than 7,500 locations. More than 5,300 of those are in the U.S. alone. Claire's was where are the cool jewelry came from and where my childhood dreams came true. It also was a great place for my mom and I to bond as we scoured the racks for the perfect pieces. Fingers crossed they can pull through and get back to selling "Best Friends Forever" necklaces.