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Charlotte Russe to shutter Long Island store, files for bankruptcy

General view of atmosphere during the Charlotte Russe

General view of atmosphere during the Charlotte Russe Fall 2009 launch event at Openhouse Gallery on July 15, 2009 in New York City. Credit: Michael Loccisano

A Charlotte Russe store in Massapequa is one of 94 locations the women’s clothing retailer is closing as part of its bankruptcy restructuring.

San Diego-based Charlotte Russe Holdings Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on Sunday. In addition to planning to close about 18 percent of its stores, the company is trying to sell the business and assets, according to a news release.

The Massapequa store, which is at Westfield Sunrise Mall, and the 93 other stores will close in about six to eight weeks, said Jennifer E. Mercer, a spokeswoman for the retailer.

Excluding the Massapequa store, seven Charlotte Russe stores will remain on Long Island, including locations in Hicksville, Bay Shore and Riverhead.  

Charlotte Russe, which targets teen girls and young women with trendy clothes and accessories, has struggled with online competition and high debt. 

The retailer “suffered from a dramatic decrease in sales and in-store traffic, and their merchandising and marketing strategies failed to connect with their core demographic and outpace the rapidly evolving fashion trends that are fundamental to their success,” according to a court filing in the bankruptcy.

Charlotte Russe’s gross sales decreased from $928 million in fiscal year 2017 to an estimated $795.5 million in fiscal year 2018 — a 14 percent drop.

Lenders have committed $50 million in financing to the retailer to support its operations during the bankruptcy proceedings.

Founded in 1975, Charlotte Russe sells merchandise on its website and at 512 stores, mostly in malls and outlet centers across the country.  

Charlotte Russe employees 8,744 people, about 16 percent of whom are full-time workers.

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