Claire’s Is Going Bankrupt Just Like Every Other Mall Store You Ever Shoplifted From
If you’re in the market for cheap beaded bracelets, flashy headbands, or peace sign earrings that will turn your ears green, you better get to stepping. Claire’s is probably going bankrupt very soon, which means that your last favorite ’90s mall store is essentially kaput. The store filed its 2016 Q1 earnings this week at $299.6 million, which sounds like a lot of money, but I guess is not.
This has been a long road of crazy losses for the chintzy jewelry store. According to Women’s Wear Daily, thats a $100 million loss from last year. It’s not filing for bankruptcy, but we’re almost there. It’s dying a slow, tortured death. Much like a lot of stores you probably (come on, admit it) shopped at when you 14 years old.
Delia’s (oh, sweet, sweet Delia’s catalog) has been long gone. Long before there were Internet memes, you could get one on a Delia’s t-shirt for a mere $24.99. Aeropostale, home of cheaper-looking Abercrombie & Fitch fare, is reportedly filing for bankruptcy if they can’t find a lender to support their cheap denim cause. PacSun, formerly known as Pacific Sunwear, the home of overpriced Roxy bathing suits and flared jeans, is also going totally out of style.
Our adolescence is going up in flames, basically.
Are kids just better dressed these days? Not really. It’s just a hell of a lot easier to find clothes you can afford on a babysitting salary and the fact that malls, in general, are pretty much goners, too.
In a world of H&M — which, like Claire’s, boasts sections of cheap fashion to accommodate whatever Spice Girl you bond spiritually with (sporty, posh, scary goth, sneezy, grumpy…) — and easy to access online stores, malls are barely making it this century. Once malls go, the stores that made their business plans based on those outposts are bound to go, too. A consultant told The Los Angeles Times that it’s not the look that’s changing — retailers can adapt to that, sometimes — but the fact that stores like Claire’s and PacSun always banked on the fact that malls would exist.
Jeff Van Sinderen, senior analyst at B. Riley & Co. said that, “Things could have gone differently if mall traffic had been positive for the last few years and we didn’t have this ongoing shift to e-commerce. It’s a challenge for any mall-based retailer these days.” Maybe I’m just nostalgic, but it is totally sad that our children’s children will marvel at the idea of an enclosed, air-conditioned space where you could shop for faux-surfer apparel, get your ears pierced for $10, and shoplift a $3 pair of tiny hoop earrings (surely there’s a statute of limitations, officers), all while stalking a crush without a cell phone and trying to wipe Cinnabon frosting off of your face.
Oh, the glory days. Stay strong, Claire’s. You were also good for absolutely nothing and everything all at the same time.