Bebe is closing all its stores, the latest casualty in retail

Bebe is closing all its stores, the latest casualty in retail

The rumors that women's clothing retailer bebe might exit the mall and go online-only were apparently true, as the company has announced plans to shutter all 180 of its stores this spring.

The company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it had signed a deal with liquidator Tiger Capital Group to sell all of its remaining inventory.

Contemporary fashion retailer Bebe Stores Inc. Bebe had 180 retail stores as of December 31, 2016 and about 2,601 employees as of July 2, 2016, according to filings. Rue21 also recently said it would close up to 400 stores. The filing didn't specify whether it will continue as an online-only retailer.

Bebe has plenty of company in the struggling brick-and-mortar retail industry.

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The retailer expects to take an impairment charge of approximately $20 million, net of deferred rent and other credits, as a result of closing the remainder of its stores.

Founded by CEO Manny Mashouf in San Francisco, Calif.in 1976, the store drew its name from Shakespeare's phrase, "To be, or not to be". In March, Bebe management and its board said they would explore "strategic alternatives" and hired financial advisor B. Riley and an unnamed real estate advisor to assist in a restructuring.

Bebe has not commented on the closure and there was no mention of it on the company's website Friday morning. It closed one store in the second quarter and made plans to close as many 25 bebe and outlet stores in fiscal 2017; Those plans have now expanded to include all stores.

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