Tween jewelry giant Claire’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday and plans to restructure its $1.9 billion debt primarily with its famous in-store ear-piercing service. The retailer “estimates that it has pierced over 100,000,000 ears worldwide” since 1978, Chief Financial Officer Scott Huckins wrote in court papers. Despite that unique service, it hasn’t made the chain immune to an 8 percent “year-over-year” decline in mall traffic and $183 million in yearly interest payments. Claire’s has 7,500 retail locations and will continue to operate while the restructuring occurs. Last week, toy retailer Toys R Us announced it would be closing all 800 of its U.S. locations as big-box stores increasingly give way to the online marketplace.
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