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Bebe is Latest Retail Victim, Closing All Stores by End of May

Madeleine Johnson

On Friday, women’s fashion retailer Bebe Stores BEBE announced that it would be closing down all of its brick-and-mortar stores by the end of May as the volatile retail sector claimed another victim.

Bebe is also planning on liquidating all of its merchandise and fixtures within its stores, according to a regulatory filing. USA Today compiled a list of all the U.S. and Canada store locations closing. You can check that out here.

Founded in 1976, Bebe was a retailer known for its trendy, youthful clubwear, and was incredibly popular in the early 2000s. But as the recession changed consumer shopping habits, in addition to the rise of fast-fashion chains like H&M and Zara, Bebe started to slowly decline. The company last reported net sales of $101.9 million during the second quarter of its fiscal 2017, decreasing 16.8% from $122.4 million reported in the second-quarter a year-ago.

Apparently, this store closure plan has been something that’s been on the table for a while. Bebe’s board of directors were discussing a brick-and-mortar plan for some time now, and had been “exploring strategic alternatives” for the company, even hiring a financial adviser and real estate adviser to figure out options. Bebe will continue to operate its online business.

Bebe joins many other retailers are closing stores, most notably The Limited, who closed all of its brick-and-mortar stores back in February, and will continue to only operate online. Department stores like Macys’ M, JCPenney JCP, and Sears are all shutting down stores this year, as well as mall staples like Abercrombie & Fitch ANF, American Eagle AEO, and Guess GES.

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Abercrombie & Fitch Company (ANF): Free Stock Analysis Report
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