(Photo : Getty Images for The Forum Shops/Ethan Miller)
Back in the late '90s and early 2000s, Bebe was the go-to place for women who are looking for that special outfit to wear for a night out on the town. But as customers are now opting to shop online, the retail chain is said to be planning to close all of its brick-and-mortar stores to focus on online sales.
Sources told Bloomberg that the company is trying to close its physical locations without filing for bankruptcy. The sources asked for anonymity because the efforts aren’t public.
The insiders added that the company may be required to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy if enough landlords aren’t willing to negotiate. Currently, Bebe is operating 170 boutique and outlet stores across the country.
It was said that unlike many retailers, Bebe has no significant debt. But the company lost about $200 million over the past four years, and negotiating with landlords to get out of leasing contracts may prove to be difficult.
The company has yet to respond to Bloomberg regarding the report.
Earlier this year, Bebe announced that it would be closing as many as 25 locations. Metro also reports that they have lost more than 80 percent of their stock in the last two years and cut 45 jobs in 2016.
Bebe was established in 1976 by Iranian entrepreneur Manny Mashouf, and the brand became synonymous with sexy dress styles. The brand launched the Kardashian sisters’ limited edition fashion line in early 2010.
The news comes on the heels of recent retail closings, including Kenneth Cole. The company said back in November that it would be shuttering almost all of its locations to concentrate on its online, international, and wholesale businesses.
Bebe’s rival, BCBG, is also about to close 570 independent boutiques all over the world, according to Cosmopolitan. Meanwhile, Abercrombie & Fitch will also be rebranding and closing 60 stores in 2017.
For more, check out Jobs & Hire’s report about the future of Sears and Kmart.