The women’s clothing chain, Charlotte Russe, announced recently that it plans to liquidate all of its inventory and close all of its stores over the next two months. The store is just another one of the many lost to the retail apocalypse that’s closing malls around the country. Now that people can shop online with such ease, why go in-store at all? The women’s clothing company has put up quite the fight to stay open in recent years, but couldn’t keep up with the loss of demand.
The Retail Apocalypse
Charlotte Russe put up the good fight, but in the end it was one of the many brick and mortar businesses lost to the current retail apocalypse sparked by
Amazon online businesses. After filing for bankruptcy protection just weeks ago, Charlotte Russe has announced that it will be closing the remainder of its stores over the course of the next two months. The company currently holds around $160 million worth of inventory. The remainder of which will be put up for auction after liquidation sales. At first, Charlotte Russe only wanted to close 94 of its stores around the country. This would have brought its total number of stores down from 512 nationwide to just over 400. The bankruptcy auction was won by a company called SB360 Capital Partners out of Delaware.
Closings such as these are not uncommon to the retail industry. The likes of which has experienced a massive shift in business trends over the last couple of years. Companies like Sears, which has been in business for decades, are announcing bankruptcies and closings around the country. The company struggled to stay afloat for years, eventually succumbing to bankruptcy just a couple of months ago. Even companies like Wal Mart and Target have had to make major shifts in their business plans with the arrival of online competitors. Wal Mart recently shifted its marketing strategy to include massive influencer branding campaigns. Meanwhile, Target has shifted its focus to include a greater emphasis on fashion and apparel.
What makes the closure of companies like Charlotte Russe so alarming is not the loss of the brands themselves. Clearly the market for women’s clothing is being filled elsewhere, as companies like H&M, Forever 21 and Asos rule the fast fashion industry. The loss of jobs, though, is a part of the industry that cannot simply be replaced with online competitors. Companies like Amazon have done a good job of creating new jobs around the country. But poor worker conditions and long hours mean that many of these positions may be filled with machines in the coming years anyway. The closing of Charlotte Russe means the loss of nearly 8,700 jobs, and only 1,400 of those were part-time. Charlotte Russe had brick and mortar shops in 49 states—all but Alaska. The bankruptcy also includes its children’s clothing retailer, Peek brand.
Other shopping mall favorites to file for bankruptcy recently inlcude Claire’s, Nine West, Gymboree, Brookstone, Diesel Jeans, and David’s Bridal. Charlotte Russe will still be open until the end of April. The stores will only be accepting gift cards for another couple of weeks. Charlotte Russe will be closing its doors for one final time shortly after.