As of Thursday, February 25, 2016
Bebe Stores Inc. founder Manny Mashouf is taking the reins of the struggling mall-based women’s retailer, it was announced on Feb. 19. He also announced a 14.6 percent job cut in the company’s design, merchandising and production division.
The announcement is part of a management shake-up for the San Francisco Bay Area–headquartered company. Bebe alum Walter Parks has rejoined the company and will serve as its president.
Chief Executive Officer Jim Wiggett has left the company. The veteran retailer joined the company in June 2014 to bring it back to profitability. Chief Financial Officer Liyuan Woo also has left. She had been with the company since 2010.
Mashouf said the cuts and the executive changes will improve Bebe’s performance. “We recognize that the overall macro environment has not been favorable to retailers in general, which is why we are taking steps that we believe are necessary to position the business for long-term success,” he said.
On Feb. 16, Bebe announced results for the second quarter of its 2016 fiscal year. Same-store sales decreased 2.5 percent for the quarter, which ended Jan. 2, compared with last year. Net sales decreased 5 percent to $122.4 million during the quarter. Net loss for the second quarter was $5.5 million, compared with $385,000 during the year-earlier period. Wiggett called the results “better than expected.”
Bebe was founded in 1976 and has defined itself as a place for “chic, contemporary fashion.” In 2008, it ran a fleet of more than 300 boutiques across the United States. It currently runs 151 bebe retail stores, an online store at www.bebe.com and 38 bebe outlet stores.