Affordable fashion brand Bebe has been facing financial hardship as of late, announcing Friday morning that it will be shuttering all of its retail stores by the end of May, according to Reuters. The brand perhaps most well known for its “going-out” tops, mini skirts, and general after-hours wear is facing the reality of four years of steady losses. It has been struggling to keep its head above water with the popularization of more trend-focused fast-fashion brands like Zara, H&M, and Mango.
Last month, Bloomberg reported that the brand was planning to close all brick-and-mortar stores, focusing on the e-commerce sector of its business and rebranding as an online-only company. The initial idea was that “the company [was] trying to close the locations without filing for bankruptcy.” Bloomberg noted that the company at the time was managing 170 boutiques and outlet stores that it was beginning to close.
Nearly one month to the day from that initial announcement, the apparel company submitted a regulatory filing that stated not only its plans to close all stores, but also that it would be liquidating all merchandise and fixtures from the properties.
The trend in retail seems to be moving away from “mall stores” in recent years, between the closing of Bebe, liquidation of Wet Seal locations earlier this year, and The Limited also announcing its stores will be no longer. Even American Apparel has suffered such losses with its business that it was forced to sell and the future of the once-favorite basics brand is more uncertain than ever.
We have reached out to Bebe for comment and will update this post when we hear back.
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