Claire's jewelry chain files for bankruptcy

Posted March 21, 2018

The retailer, known for its interest to teens and for piercing more than 100 million ears worldwide, said it's "sure" it will survive the bankruptcy documented in Delaware.

Claire's said it would use the legal process to shed about $1.9 billion in debt and re-emerge as a healthier company in September, poised for a solid holiday shopping season. Its global subsidiaries are not part of the Chapter 11 filing.

It's just the latest retailer to seek bankruptcy protection, close stores or go out of business entirely. Last week, Toys "R" Us announced it would close all 735 of its USA stores after filing for bankruptcy past year.

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Claire's is owned by private equity firm Apollo Global Management, which paid 3.1 billion United States dollars for the company in 2007.

Others to file include Payless Inc. and Gander Mountain. It also retains its status as the world's leading ear piercer, having pierced over 3.5 million ears in 2017 in the U.S. alone - a task it has been diligently undertaking since 1978.

"Unlike other retailers that have come before it, Claire's has commenced its restructuring process from a position of unique operational strength".

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Since the 1960s, Claire's has been a place where girls could embrace their individual style with jewelry, beauty products and ear piercing stations. As of the filing, Apollo owns 98 percent of the company's equity, and around 28 percent of three types of the company's debt, totalling around $48 million, according to court filings.

Claire's and Icing both have locations inside the Franklin Park Mall in Toledo, the Shops at Fallen Timbers in Maumee, the Mall of Monroe in Monroe and the Adrian Mall in Adrian.

"This transaction substantially reduces the debt on our balance sheet", said chief executive officer Ron Marshall said in statement.

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