Claire's, formerly known as Claire's Accessories, is an American retailer of accessories and jewelry primarily aimed toward girls and young women. It was founded in 1961 and is based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.
|Fashion Tress Industries (1961–1973)|
|Founded||1961(as Fashion Tress Industries)|
Number of locations
|Ron Marshall (CEO)|
|Products||Accessories, jewelry, and cosmetics|
|Revenue||US$1.403 billion (2015)[dead link]|
|−US$14.6 million (2015)|
|−US$236.4 million (2015)|
|Owner||Apollo Global Management|
Number of employees
As of October 27, 2012, Claire's has 3,469 stores in 36 countries: 1,947 in North America (United States and Canada), 1,141 in Europe (United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Spain, Ireland, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Italy), and 381 franchised and licensed stores elsewhere in the world (Japan, Middle East, India, Mexico, Turkey, Ukraine, Greece, Serbia, Malta, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Venezuela, and Dominican Republic).
Their stores are in 95% of all U.S. shopping malls, and Claire's has done more ear piercings than any other retailer, over 90 million in 25+ years.
In 1996, Leslie Mann of the Chicago Tribune said, "Although the management of Claire's says the company doesn't advertise and is deliberately low-profile, the name 'Claire" is as familiar to female Baby Boomers as " 'Ringo'. To the Boomers' mall-cruising daughters—and, more and more, to their sons—it's right up there with singer Puff Daddy.'"
In 1961 Rowland Schaefer founded Fashion Tress Industries, a company that sold wigs and became the world's largest retailer for fashion wigs. Fashion Tress acquired Claire's, a 25-store jewelry chain, in 1973 and began shifting its focus towards a line of fashion jewelry and accessories under the new name, Claire's Accessories, Inc. Claire's Accessories began providing ear piercing services in 1978 and, in 1980, established a Hong Kong-based sourcing office. During the 1980s, Claire's Accessories opened new stores throughout the United States and bought Topkapi, a Japanese chain of 16 stores, in 1989. Claire's Accessories continued acquiring companies in the 1990s, including Bow Bangles - a British chain with 71 stores in England, Wales and Scotland - in 1995; two American chains, The Icing (85 stores) and Accessory Place (31 stores), in 1996 and Bijoux One, a Swiss chain in 1998. The Icing would become the company's primary brand for women in their 20s. In 1999, Claire's purchased Cleopatre, a chain in Paris with 42 stores, for $11 million cash, as well the American chain, Afterthoughts. Afterthoughts stores were converted to Icing stores after they were purchased. In 1997, the business changed its name to Claire's. In 2001, claires.com was launched, and in 2002 the company purchased the US-based clothing chain, Mr. Rags. Claire's was listed in the NASDAQ in 2005, but was taken private by the private equity firm Apollo Global Management in a $3.1 billion leveraged buyout in 2007 In 2008, Claire's consolidated its European operations into one group with headquarters in Birmingham. The first stores in Ukraine were opened in 2010 and in 2011 e-commerce operations were launched in the United States, alongside the opening of stores in India and Mexico. In 2012, Claire's expanded its international presence by opening its first stores in China, Italy, Indonesia, Luxembourg, Dominican Republic, Panama, and Honduras. In 2018, Claire's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US.
As of 2014 Claire's has 6 offices:
- Hoffman Estates, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago): Global HQ, North America HQ, North America Distribution Center
- Birmingham: Europe HQ, Europe Distribution Center
- Hong Kong: Sourcing & Buying, International Distribution Center
- Pembroke Pines, Florida (a suburb of Miami): Accounting
- Paris: Field Support
- Madrid: Field Support
Claire's has its Illinois offices in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The facility is a brown brick building off of Interstate 90 (Northwest Tollway), near Barrington Road. The building serves as Claire's distribution center and main facility, and all merchandise is routed through this facility. Its products, which, as of 1996, are mainly imported, are distributed and marketed through the Hoffman Estates location. The company's buying, distribution, and marketing divisions are in the Hoffman Estates facility. As of 1996, 236 full-time employees and several temporary employees worked in the facility. Leslie Mann of the Chicago Tribune said that the facility "contrasts with Claire's glittery stores in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom and Japan." Mann added, "Except for the prototype store in the lobby and the fashion accessories that line the walls of the buyers' offices, the center is unremarkable."
A facility in Wood Dale, Illinois, used to serve the purposes now held by the Hoffman Estates office. In early January 1995, Pfizer sold its Hoffman Estates headquarters building for $7.4 million to Claire's so it could consolidate its operations in Memphis, Tennessee. At the time, the Hoffman Estates office had 247,000 square feet (22,900 m2) of space. In 1998, Claire's announced plans to build a two-story office building and a 275,000-square-foot (25,500 m2) warehouse at the Hoffman Estates site. This would double the total amount of space at the Illinois site.
Its Florida office in Pembroke Pines, Florida, in Greater Miami. The Florida offices are west of the intersection of Flamingo Road and Pines Boulevard. It has 26,000 square feet (2,400 m2) of space in its Florida offices. As of 1997 the CEO has his office in Pembroke Pines. In addition, the company's customer service and investor relations divisions are located in the Pembroke Pines offices. In November 1990 Claire's moved its Florida offices from northern Dade County to Pembroke Pines. The former headquarters in Dade County had 10,000 square feet (930 m2) of space.
Stores are aimed principally at teens and tweens and also have a kids' section. They average about 1,000 square feet, are typically located in malls, and carry the widest selection of merchandise among Claire's brands. Merchandise is targeted at different age groups ranging from babies to young adults. Customers can find earrings, necklaces, bracelets, purses, hair accessories, and fashion accessories. Stores are merchandised to accommodate different ages, and fashion trends are manipulated to appeal to all ages. Toys "R" Us also included a Claire's section for girls and young women.
In North America, Claire's also operates under the Icing brand, stores targeted towards young women aged 19–28. The merchandise has a higher price point and is more mature. Most items are accessories and jewelry, but merchandise also includes items like candles, mineral-based cosmetics, 21st birthday accessories, bachelorette accessories, and footwear. Icing typically does not offer licensed merchandise.
Claire's sells accessories that are geared towards tweens, teens, and young adults and are meant to imitate higher-end fashion trends. Costume jewelry, imitation jewelry of precious gems and materials like pearls and diamonds, branded merchandise that advertise tween musicians, body jewelry, hair accessories, and clothing items are available for purchase.
The store's merchandise is often divided into sections. Claire's Club is a line of accessories meant for children under 7, featuring princess-themed jewelry and accessories with children's musicians such as Sophia Grace & Rosie. The rest of the store is for tweens and teens.
Claire's also carries an assortment of seasonal holiday items, such as for Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, and Christmas.
Nearly all locations also offer ear piercing, as all staff are fully trained in using the Studex gun. Claire's starts piercing customers at the age of two months with their 8-week immunizations and does not pierce the cartilage of people under 13. Although the target customers are girls and young women, as fashion trends have changed, the place has become popular for boys to get their ears pierced as well.
Claire's carries its own range of perfumes.
- http://www.clairestores.com/phoenix.zhtml[dead link]
- "Claire's Stores, Inc. 10-K filing for fiscal year ending Jan 2014". services.corporate-ir.net. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- "Claire's Stores, Inc. Announces First Store Openings In Venezuela & Panama, Expanding Its Global Reach To 36 Countries". PRNewswire. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- "Get your ears pierced at Claire's". Claire's Stores, Inc. Retrieved 20 August 2009.[dead link]
- Mann, Leslie. "Hot Stuff." Chicago Tribune. December 14, 1997. Retrieved on December 24, 2011. "Since 1973, Schaefer has been commuting from his offices in Pembroke Pines, Fla., to the company's main facility and distribution center, first located in Wood Dale and now in Hoffman Estates. (The company also has offices in New York and Hong Kong.)"
- "History of Claire's Stores, Inc. – FundingUniverse". www.fundinguniverse.com.
- Altaner, David. "CLAIRE'S BUYS SWISS CHAIN; 53-STORE BIJOUX ONE EXPANDS COMPANY'S EUROPEAN BASE." Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel. November 12, 1998. Business 3D. Retrieved on June 20, 2013. "Claire's Stores based in Pembroke Pines, said on Wednesday that it bought a Swiss women's accessory chain, Bijoux One, that it expects to use as an entry into[...]"
- "CLAIRE'S SETS EYES ON FRANCE." Miami Herald. December 15, 1999. p. 1C Business. Retrieved on June 20, 2013.
- "Claire's Stores Buys Rival Afterthoughts". Sun-Sentinel.
- "Debt-Laden Claire's IPO Is for Test Market". Wall Street Journal.
- Tiffany Hsu (March 19, 2018). "Claire's, the Teen Jewelry Chain, Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy". The New York Times. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
- "Contact Us." Claire's Stores. Retrieved on June 20, 2013. "HEADQUARTERS FLORIDA OFFICE: Claire's Stores, Inc. 3 S.W. 129th Avenue Pembroke Pines, FL 33027[...]ILLINOIS OFFICE: Claire's Stores, Inc. 2400 West Central Road Hoffman Estates, IL 60192"
- "Registration No. 333-." (Archive) Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved on June 21, 2013. " 2400 West Central Road Hoffman Estates, IL 60192 [...] (Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)"
- "Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(3) Registration No. 333-175171." (Archive) Securities and Exchange Commission. p. 5. Retrieved on June 21, 2013. "Our principal executive offices are located at 2400 West Central Road, Hoffman Estates, Illinois 60192."
- "Northwest Briefs." Daily Herald. August 15, 1998. Business 1. Retrieved on December 24, 2011. "Pembroke Pines, Fla.-based Claire's owns several retail chains that sell accessories and clothes for teenagers. Claire's has Hoffman Estates operations."
- "Disney exec named Claire's CEO." Crain's Chicago Business. June 6, 2012. Retrieved on June 20, 2013. "The Hoffman Estates-based purveyor of fashion jewelry and accessories for teens had been without a permanent chief executive since January, when Eugene Kahn resigned."
- Russis, Martha. "PFIZER FINDS BUYER FOR ITS HEADQUARTERS." Chicago Tribune. January 13, 1995. METRO NORTHWEST p. 3. Retrieved on June 20, 2013. "Jewelry retailer Claire's Boutiques Inc. has bought the expansive Pfizer headquarters building along the Northwest Tollway near Barrington Road, a Pfizer representative said Thursday. Pfizer spokesman Andy McCormick said the headquarters was sold early this month for $7.4 million as part of the company's move to consolidate its distribution operations to Memphis. [...] The Hoffman Estates building at 2400 Central Rd. has 247,000 square feet of space. Claire's Boutiques' national headquarters is now in Wood Dale at 1501 N.[...]"
- "FAQ Archived 2014-07-13 at the Wayback Machine." Claire's. Retrieved on December 25, 2011. "Claire’s Stores, Inc. has its investor relations and customer service located in Pembroke Pines, Florida. The buying, marketing and distribution offices are located in Hoffman Estates, a suburb of Chicago. Please visit Contact Us if you would like to send correspondence to our corporate headquarters."
- Wallace, Diana. "Claire's unveils plans for large expansion in Hoffman Estates." Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Illinois). March 18, 1998. News p. 4. Retrieved on June 20, 2013. "Claire's, the women's accessories giant, is planning an expansion expected to double the number of employees at its Hoffman Estates distribution center over the next two years. Plans for a 275,000-square-foot warehouse and two-story office-building addition to the shipping headquarters located at 2400 W. Central Road were unveiled to Hoffman Estates trustees this week for a preliminary review. The expansion would more than double the space at the site,[...]"
- Giovis, Jaclyn. "EQUITY FIRM BUYS CLAIRE'S PEMBROKE PINES RETAILER AGREES TO $3.1 BILLION DEAL." South Florida Sun-Sentinel. March 21, 2007. D1. Retrieved on December 24, 2011. "[...]which may include shedding Claire's Pembroke Pines headquarters and workers."
- "Contact Us." Claire's Stores Inc. Retrieved on December 24, 2011. "FLORIDA OFFICE: Claire's Stores, Inc. 3 S.W. 129th Avenue Pembroke Pines, FL 33027" and "ILLINOIS OFFICE: Claire's Stores, Inc. 2400 West Central Road Hoffman Estates, IL 60192"
- "CLAIRE'S MOVES OFFICES TO PINES." South Florida Sun-Sentinel. October 12, 1990. p. 3D. Retrieved on June 20, 2013. "Claire's Stores, a fashion accessories retailer, moved its headquarters this week from north Dade County to Pembroke Pines. "We outgrew our headquarters," chief financial officer Howard Kaplan said. The retailer had 10,000 square feet in Dade and has 26,000 square feet at its new site at 3 SW 129th Ave., west of the intersection of Pines Boulevard and Flamingo Road."
- "Icing Fashion Jewelry & Accessories For Women - Icing US". www.icingbyclaires.com.