Apparel retailer Bebe says to shut all stores

NEW YORK, April 21 ― Struggling apparel retailer Bebe Stores Inc said today it would close all its stores by the end of May, barely a month after announcing it was exploring strategic alternatives following four years of losses.

The company also plans to liquidate all merchandise and fixtures within the stores, it said in a regulatory filing today.

 Bloomberg reported last month that Bebe was planning to shut stores and seek a turnaround as an online brand to avoid filing for bankruptcy.

A number of apparel retailers have gone bankrupt in the last couple of years, including Aeropostale and The Limited, due to lackluster demand as they battle stiff competition from Inc and fast-fashion retailers such as H&M and Zara.

Bebe expects to recognize an impairment charge of about US$20 million (RM87.9 million) from the store closures, which will be recorded in the third and fourth quarters.

The company did not say what its future plans were.

The Brisbane, California-based retailer, known for its form-fitting dresses and other apparel, had 180 stores at the end of 2016.

The company will also pay advisors B. Riley & Co and Tiger Capital Group LLC US$550,000 and 15 per cent of the gross proceeds from the sale of store fixtures. ― Reuters

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