Bebe to close stores and focus on e-commerce

Bebe Stores Inc. is reportedly the latest mall fixture to fall victim to the e-commerce world.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that Bebe is planning to close its stores and shift its focus to become an online-only brand. Bloomberg‘s sources stated that the retailer is trying to shut down its locations without filing for bankruptcy, but Chapter 11 may still be required if negotiations with landlords fall through. There’s about 170 Bebe and Bebe Outlet stores currently opened, with 25 locations expected to close this year.

Bebe was founded by Manny Mashouf, who emigrated from Iran to the U.S. Mashouf opened the brand’s first location in San Francisco in 1976, offering trendy tops and bodycon dresses. The name “Bebe” was inspired by Shakespeare’s famous soliloquy in Hamlet: “To be or not to be.”

At its height in the 2000s, Bebe enlisted a number of celebrities to front its campaigns. Rebecca Romijn, Eva Longoria and Mischa Barton were among the famous faces to appear in the retailer’s ads. The Kardashians were also major fans of the brand. Kourtney, Kim and Khloe collaborated with the company to design the spring 2010 collection, and Kim launched a jewelry line with the label.


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Dollar General

Discount stores have generally bucked the current retail trend, and Dollar General (NYSE: DG) has been one of the leaders in that space. The company plans to open 1,000 new stores in 2017 — that will come on top of the 900 locations the company added last year.



Costco (NASDAQ: COST) exemplifies the idea that slow and steady wins the race. The chain has plodded along in its usual fashion year after year seemingly unfazed by industry headwinds and competitive jostling.

In 2016, the wholesale retailer opened 29 new warehouses with 21 of them in the U.S. That followed 23 new stores globally in 2015, and this year, the company will continue with plans to add 31 new stores (17 of them in the U.S). 

REUTERS/Mohammad Khursheed


Last year, Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) closed 269 locations, but it still saw net additions to its network. Over 100 of those closures stemmed from the shuttering of its small-format Express locations, which management originally hoped would…

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