Bebe Stores Inc. is planning to shut down its stores and become an online-only brand, according to sources close to the situation. The company is trying to close the locations without filing for bankruptcy, however, Chapter 11 may be required if enough landlords aren't willing to negotiate. Bebe has 170 stores in its fleet, including boutiques and outlets.
Total Retail’s Take: Bebe is the latest retailer to shutter its brick-and-mortar locations in favor of concentrating on its e-commerce business, a move driven by declining store traffic and sales. Kenneth Cole Productions did the same back in November. However, Bebe has no significant debt and won’t be filing for bankruptcy like HHGregg and Gordmans.