Bebe to Liquidate Stores
Bebe Stores Inc. announced April 21 that it will liquidate its stores and inventory housed in those stores. The announcement, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, forecast that the San Francisco Bay Area–headquartered mall retailer will close all of its physical stores by the end of May.
In the document, Bebe said that it had entered into a consulting agreement with Great American Group LLC to sell all merchandise and inventory owned by Bebe in the retail stores as well as furnishings, fixtures and equipment. Bebe said it would pay the consultant $550,000 for its services but would not estimate losses incurred from the sale at the time of the filing. Great American Group is an affiliate of B. Riley & Co. In March, Bebe announced that it had retained the Los Angeles–headquartered B. Riley & Co. as a financial adviser to help it explore strategic alternatives.
The announcement of store closures is the latest in a series of setbacks for Bebe. In late March, it filed an announcement with the state Department of Employment that it would lay off 400 retail workers as well as 136 workers at its headquarters in Brisbane, Calif. Also, 160 workers in a design office in Los Angeles were cut.
A company statement said that Bebe operates 134 retail stores, 34 outlet stores and an e-commerce site at www.bebe.com. The retailer also distributes and sells Bebe-branded products in 75 doors in 21 countries outside of America and Canada. Business outside of North America is run through licensees.
Bebe will reportedly concentrate on e-commerce, post closure of its physical stores, according to a Bloomberg News report. Revenues for the company in fiscal 2016 were $393.6 million, down from $484.7 million in fiscal 2013.
Manny Mashouf founded Bebe in 1976. The brand developed a reputation for making women’s clothes for nightclubbing and cocktails as well as officewear.