Ear-piercing, jewelry store giant Claire's files for bankruptcy

Walden Galleria

The retailer's worldwide subsidiaries are not part of the US bankruptcy filings, Claire's said in a statement.

The US company behind Claire's Accessories has filed for bankruptcy protection as part of a move to reduce its debt by 1.9 billion US dollars (£1.3 billion).

Claire's is owned by private equity firm Apollo Global Management, which paid 3.1 billion USA dollars for the company in 2007.

Claire's does not plan to close stores during the restructuring process.

"This transaction substantially reduces the debt on our balance sheet and will enhance our efforts to provide the best possible experience for our customers", Claire's chief executive officer, Ron Marshall, said in a statement.

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Claire's hired Lazard in January to advise on its debt load, which had reached around $2bn.

The company will continue to operate its approximately 1,600 Claire's and Icing brand stores in the United States during the bankruptcy process and expects to complete it by September, according to CNN.

Claire's said on Monday that it has obtained $135 million in debtor-in-possession financing commitments, including an asset-based lending facility and a term loan from Citigroup.

The company, which has been piercing ears since 1978, sells its products in more than 7,500 locations around the world. Its plan to survive rests on its reputation for trendy merchandise and a unique service that it says can't be replicated by shopping online: ear piercing. Typically retailers use the Chapter 11 filing to announce closings. It held $2.1 billion in debt at the end of 2017.

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