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Tween jewelry chain Claire’s Stores Inc. has become the latest victim of the retail apocalypse.
The company filed for bankruptcy protection in Delaware court on Monday. Claire’s is the latest in a string of recent U.S. retail bankruptcies, which have felled children’s clothing chain Gymboree Corp., the Sports Authority Inc. athletics chain and toyseller Toys ‘R’ Us.
Chief Executive Officer Ron Marshall has been trying to revive Claire’s North American operations, which have been under pressure as shoppers shun malls where the company has many of its outlets. The task was hindered by payments on its debt load of more than $2 billion. A debt exchange in 2016 and a refinanced credit line last year didn’t do enough to bolster cash.
A voluntary Chapter 11 filing typically allows a company to keep operating while it works out a plan to turn the business around and pay its creditors. Claire’s is controlled by private-equity investment firm Apollo Global Management LLC.