Charming Charlie is overhauling its operations and management in an attempt to stem financial losses and restructure a heavy debt load during the critical holiday season. The Houston-based accessories retailer announced this month plans to pare down its chain of about 375 stores by an unspecified number, cut jobs at its Houston headquarters and distribution center, and shutter its Los Angeles office. The announcement marks a reversal for the colorful accessories retailer, which expanded at a breakneck pace under the leadership of multimillionaire and entrepreneur Charlie Chanaratsopon. Founded in 2004, it opened nearly 280 stores by 2013 and added almost 100 since then.
Total Retail's Take: Charming Charlie's stores are primarily located in shopping malls, and the retailer has felt the pressure of decreased in-store traffic. In addition, Charming Charlie operates in the competitive jewelry and accessories market, a sector that has been challenged by lagging sales this year. While Charming Charlie didn't identify how many stores it would be closing or how many jobs would be cut, the moves speak to a retailer trying to find its way in a competitive, evolving marketplace. A strong close to the holiday season could get things headed in the right direction for the start of 2018.