By Brecken Branstrator
Hoffman Estates, Ill.—Accessories retailer Claire’s Stores Inc. has announced the appointment of retail executive Ryan Vero as its CEO.

Vero most recently served as president of Party City Retail Group, overseeing nearly 1,000 retail stores across North America and Europe as well as e-commerce and web operations.

Prior to that, he served in executive leadership roles at Sears and OfficeMax, where he spearheaded key consumer business lines, as well as e-commerce, marketing and merchandising operations.

Vero graduated from St. Bonaventure University with a degree in business administration and has an MBA in marketing from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.

Kevin Corning, who has served as interim CEO since March, will support his transition into the position.

Corning will then return to his role on the Claire’s board, where he has served since October 2018.

Prior to Corning, Ron Marshall held the CEO role since 2016. He left the company in March.

“Ryan’s track record of growth through innovation makes him the ideal leader to drive Claire’s into the future,” said Samantha Algaze, chairman of the Claire's board. We look forward to this new era for Claire’s.”

The retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2018, citing struggles from a deal made more than a decade ago with private equity firm Apollo Management that left it saddled with debt.

It also has struggled with increased competition from fast-fashion retailers and declining mall traffic.

Just before filing last year, the company entered into a restructuring plan expected to reduce its debt by $1.9 billion.

As of May 4, 2019, Claire’s operated 2,421 stores in 17 countries throughout North America and Europe, excluding 6,794 concession locations.

The retailer came in at No. 19 in National Jeweler’s list of $100 Million Supersellers last year.

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