Houston-based retailer Charming Charlie said Thursday it will close all its stores by the end of August after filing for its second bankruptcy in two years.
The specialty retailer, which has received kudos for grouping its women’s fashion accessories by color to create a different way to shop, has 261 stores, including two on Long Island. They are in Garden City’s Gallery at Westbury Plaza and at South Shore Mall in Bay Shore, according to the company's website.
A representative for Charming Charlie did not immediately respond to a request for information about when the Long Island locations will close and how many employees will be affected.
The chain exited its first bankruptcy last year after closing about 100 stores. The company asked the bankruptcy court to allow it to honor $19 million of outstanding gift cards for 30 days.
The decision to file again was made “after the implementation of numerous cost-reduction measures” including closings.
“These efforts simply were not sufficient to stabilize” the business and “ensure long-term profitability,” the company said in its court filing in Delaware. The company reduced its debt in its first Chapter 11 reorganization, but it still didn’t have the funds it needed, particularly right before the holiday season when stores increase their inventory purchases.
As of the end of June, U.S. retailers had announced 7,037 store closings and 2,992 store openings, according to Coresight Research. That’s ahead of all of last year, when there were 5,864 closings and 3,251 openings.
This year is expected to be another record year for closings. Coresight has said there could be 12,000 by year-end. Among the big retail liquidations so far this year were Payless, Charlotte Russe, Gymboree and Crazy 8. Several other retailers are closing significant numbers of locations such as Family Dollar, which is closing 400 stores.
With Daysi Calavia-Robertson