FINANCE

Charming Charlie to close some stores amid rumors it will file for bankruptcy

BY Marianne Wilson

The formerly high-flying Charming Charlie has come back down to earth.

The jewelry and accessories retailer announced it plans to shutter a number of underperforming stores along with its Los Angeles office, and also reduce headcount at its Houston headquarters and distribution center as part of an effort to simply business operations, improve liquidity and focus on its core strengths. The moves comes amid rumors that the chain is preparing to file for bankruptcy in the near future.

“By reducing the size and scale of our operations, we have the opportunity to stabilize the business,” said Lana Krauter, who recently was named interim CEO of Charming Charlie. “We also will be better equipped to read and react to trends and what our customers want, which had been the hallmark of our success. It’s what we are referring to as our back-to-basics strategy.”

In addition, the company said it is working with outside advisors to explore a range of alternatives “to help ensure the company has adequate sources of financing and the right capital structure to support the business on an ongoing basis.

Charming Charlie currently operates more than 375 stores in the United States and Canada. The company, which was founded in 2004 by entrepreneur Charlie Chanaratsopon, sells a wide assortment of jewelry, handbags, apparel, gifts and beauty products, with the merchandise organized by color.

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