Bebe to Shutter All Stores by May 9
Fashion retailer Bebe is planning to close all of its 175 stores by May 9, according to a regulatory brief filed by the company on Friday. The retail chain had previously said it was committed to closing 21 locations, which represented roughly 12 percent of its total outlets. This news came as Bebe explained it was in the process of exploring strategic alternatives for its business, amid much speculation the company would transition to an online-only model. Additional speculation has been swirling lately that Bebe could be the next retailer to join a growing list of companies that have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2017. Bebe, however, was hoping to close the stores without filing for bankruptcy.
Total Retail’s Take: Bebe has plenty of company in the struggling brick-and-mortar retail industry, particularly in the apparel sector. Macy's, J.C. Penney, and Sears have announced over the last several months that they are closing hundreds of stores and cutting thousands of jobs. Growing competition from e-commerce giant Amazon, as well as millennial-focused fashion retailers H&M and Zara, has undoubtedly played a role in Bebe's struggles.