Claire’s Plans to Go Public

MajorsOct 04, 2021

Claire’s Plans to Go Public

After emerging from bankruptcy, the mall staple has filed for an IPO.

Jewelry and accessories chain Claire’s filed for an initial public offering Wednesday.
Hoffman Estates, Ill.—Claire’s Stores Inc may soon go public after filing for an initial public offering Wednesday, just three years after emerging from bankruptcy.

The kid-friendly chain, best known for its ear piercing services, sells costume and fashion jewelry, accessories, toys, and more.

The retailer recently launched a subscription service, introducing its quarterly “Cdrop” boxes as it looks to appeal to millennial, Gen Z, and even younger customers.

Claire’s operates its flagship brand as well as Icing, which caters more toward young women.

According to the company’s S-1 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, there were 1,390 company-operated Claire’s stores in North America and 887 in Europe as of July 31, alongside 324 franchised stores, mainly in the Middle East and South Africa . Icing stores number 191.

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The mall staple filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March 2018, struggling under a mountain of debt following a private equity takeover.

Elliott Management and Monarch Alternative Capital took the reins after the company emerged from bankruptcy in October 2018 and will maintain control post-IPO, the filing states.

Post-bankruptcy, the company is still sitting on close to $1 billion in debt, including $496 million in long-term debt and more than $429 million in derivative liabilities.

However, during the first half of 2021, the company doubled its sales year-over-year to $629 million and swung to a profit on its operating costs after being in the red for the first half of 2020, as per its filing. 
The retailer plans to invest more than $150 million in business improvements by the end of fiscal 2021, including expanding its store count, building a management team, bolstering its e-commerce capabilities, and improving its ear piercing services.

Claire’s may soon join a long list of retailers that have gone public in recent months, including Brilliant Earth and Warby Parker, as well as Mattress Firm and Guitar Center, which recently filed IPOs.

If the accessories chain succeeds, it will list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "CLRS. "

Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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