Claire's, based in Hoffman Estates, is a specialty retailer of jewelry, accessories, and beauty products for young women, teens, preteens and children.
However, in court filings and a company release today, Claire's sought to distinguish itself from peers that have taken the bankruptcy route, stating that it is "utilizing the Chapter 11 process to effectuate a balance sheet - not an operational - restructuring".
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Chief Executive Officer Ron Marshall has been trying to revive Claire's North American operations, which have been under pressure as shoppers shun malls where the company has many of its outlets. It also expects to add more than 4,000 stores in 2018, as Claire's continues to be one of the world's leading ear-piercing chains. It is the temple where 100 million people so far have gotten their ears pierced, and plenty more have bought cheap jewelry to complete their lewk. The company reported that its "iconic ear piercing services are unmatched and can not be replicated online", which will help Claire's remain competitive amidst increasing online shopping trends.
Claire's plans to emerge from bankruptcy later this year, but if it will survive until the September target date, and what will be left of the company if it does, remains to be seen. The company now has $1.9 billion in debt on its books, with $1.4 billon of funded debt due to mature next year. If all goes well, the company says that this will reduce its debt by roughly $1.9 billion. RadioShack filed for a second bankruptcy in March 2017. Typically retailers use the Chapter 11 filing to announce closings.