Claire's (formerly known as Claire's Boutiques, Claire's Boutique and Claire's Accessories) is an American retailer of accessories, jewelry, and toys primarily aimed toward tween and teen girls. It was founded in 1961 and is based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.[2] The company is primarily owned by Elliott Management and Monarch Alternative Capital,[3] but, in 2022, announced plans to go public with an initial public offering.[4]

Claire's Stores, Inc.
  • Fashion Tress Industries (1961–1973)
  • Claire's Accessories (1973–1997)
Founded1961 (1961) (as Fashion Tress Industries)
FounderRowland Schaefer
Number of locations
3,469 stores
Area served
Key people
Ryan Vero (CEO)
ProductsAccessories, jewelry, and cosmetics
RevenueDecrease −US$1.403 billion (2015)[1][dead link]
DecreaseUS$14.6 million (2015)[1]
DecreaseUS$236.4 million (2015)[1]
OwnerElliott Management Corporation and Monarch Alternative Capital
Number of employees
18,100 (2015)[1]

As of October 2012, Claire's had 3,469 stores in 37 countries.[5] Claire's claims it has done more ear piercings than any other retailer, totaling at over 100 million in 25+ years.[6]

History edit

In 1961, Rowland Schaefer founded Fashion Tress Industries, a company that sold wigs and became the world's largest retailer for fashion wigs.[7] In 1973, Fashion Tress acquired Claire's, a 25-store jewelry chain, and began shifting its focus towards a line of fashion jewelry and accessories under the new name, Claire's Accessories, Inc.[7] 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.[7] 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;[7] and Bijoux One, a Swiss chain, in 1998.[8] The Icing would become the company's primary brand for women in their 20s.[7] In 1999, Claire's purchased Cleopatre, a chain in Paris with 42 stores, for $11 million cash,[9] as well the American chain, Afterthoughts. Afterthoughts stores were converted to Icing stores after they were purchased.[10] In 1997, the business changed its name to Claire's.[citation needed] In 2001, was launched. In 2002, the company purchased the US-based clothing chain Mr. Rags.[citation needed]

Claire's was a publicly-traded company listed on the NASDAQ in 2005,[citation needed] but was taken private by the private equity firm Apollo Global Management in a $3.1 billion leveraged buyout in 2007.[11] In 2008, Claire's consolidated its European operations into one group with headquarters in Birmingham. The first stores in Ukraine were opened in 2010.[citation needed] 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 U.S.[12][13][14][15] By 2022, Claire's had exited bankruptcy, announced preliminary sales growth for fiscal year 2021 of 53% on revenue of $1.4 billion, and announced plans for an initial public offering.[4] The company's new strategy involves shuttering stores in underperforming locations in favor of "prestige" malls, as well as setting up kiosk shops within drug and grocery store chains.[4]

Offices edit

As of 2014 Claire's had 6 offices:[2]

Illinois office edit

Claire's has its Illinois offices in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.[20][21] The facility is a brown brick building off of Interstate 90,[19][22] near Barrington Road.[22] 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.[19] The company's buying, distribution, and marketing divisions are in the Hoffman Estates facility.[23] 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."[19] 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."[19]

A facility in Wood Dale, Illinois, used to serve the purposes now held by the Hoffman Estates office.[19] 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.[22] 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.[24]

Florida office edit

Its Florida office in Pembroke Pines, Florida, in Greater Miami.[25][26] 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.[27] The current CEO for Claire's is Ryan Vero[28] As of 1997 the CEO has his office in Pembroke Pines.[19] In addition, the company's customer service and investor relations divisions are located in the Pembroke Pines offices.[23] 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.[27]

Store types edit

Claire's branch in North Street, Chichester
Claire's branch in Boulevard Saint Michel, Paris
Glendale, Queens, New York

Stores are aimed at teens and tweens and have a kids' sections. They average about 1,000 square feet, are typically located in malls and shopping centers, and carry the widest selection of merchandise among Claire's brands. Merchandise is targeted at different age groups ranging from babies to teens. Customers can find earrings, necklaces, bracelets, purses, hair accessories, fashion accessories, stuffed animals, makeup, and licensed merchandise. 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 teens.

In North America, Claire's also operates under the Icing brand, stores targeted toward 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, birthday accessories, bachelorette and wedding accessories, and footwear. Icing typically does not offer licensed merchandise.[29]

Merchandise edit

Claire's sells accessories that are geared towards kids, tweens, teens, and young adults and are meant to imitate high-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, make-up and clothing items are usually available for purchase; Claire's also carries its own range of perfumes.

The store's merchandise is often divided into sections. Claire's Club is a line of accessories meant for children under 7 years old, 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 years of age. Although the target customers are girls and young women, as fashion trends have changed, the place has become popular for young boys to get their ears pierced as well.[citation needed]

Asbestos recalls edit

Claire's have been subject to numerous cases of alleged "asbestos presence" in its products. These traces have been found in products containing talcum powder, a naturally occurring silicate substance. Talcum powder has been known to contain traces of asbestos, a recognized human carcinogen.

On March 5, 2019, Claire's stated that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) believed some of the company's products may have been contaminated with asbestos. Claire's stated that the FDA had "mis-characterized fibers in the products as asbestos, in direct contradiction to established EPA and USP criterion for classifying asbestos fibers".[30]

On March 11, 2019, the FDA tested more Claire's products, indicating "the possible presence of asbestos". The affected products were sold between October 2016 to March 2019. In response to the FDA claim, Claire's stated they continue to have confidence in the safety of their products, however also issued a voluntary recall and advised consumers to discontinue use.

On May 30, 2019, a JoJo Siwa cosmetic kit was voluntarily recalled due to the FDA warning consumers of "the possible presence of asbestos". The powder eyeshadow element of the kit was affected due to the possible presence of "trace amounts of asbestos fibers". Claire's stated these trace amounts were acceptable by European and Canadian cosmetic regulations, and they had ended the use of talcum powder in its products. The company still "continues to have confidence in the safety and composition of its products" and "is not aware of any adverse reactions, injuries or illness caused by the possible presence of asbestos in the recalled products". Siwa posted a video informing her audience that Claire's would accept refunds of products new and used, stating she puts her "trust into other people's hands" with her products and was working to recall items from all shelves.[31]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d "Financial Year End 2015". Claire's Accessories.[dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Claire's Stores, Inc. 10-K filing for fiscal year ending Jan 2014". Archived from the original on September 18, 2018. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  3. ^ "Company Overview | Claire's Stores". Archived from the original on August 8, 2020. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c Khrais, Reema; Amin, Anais (August 5, 2022). "How teen mall hot spot Claire's went from bankruptcy to IPO filing". Marketplace. American Public Media. Retrieved August 6, 2022.
  5. ^ "Claire's Stores, Inc. Announces First Store Openings In Venezuela & Panama, Expanding Its Global Reach To 36 Countries". PRNewswire (Press release). Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  6. ^ "Get your ears pierced at Claire's". Claire's Stores, Inc. Retrieved August 20, 2009.[dead link]
  7. ^ a b c d e "History of Claire's Stores, Inc. – FundingUniverse". Archived from the original on May 19, 2014.
  8. ^ Altaner, David. "CLAIRE'S BUYS SWISS CHAIN; 53-STORE BIJOUX ONE EXPANDS COMPANY'S EUROPEAN BASE[permanent dead link]." 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[...]"
  9. ^ "CLAIRE'S SETS EYES ON FRANCE." Miami Herald. December 15, 1999. p. 1C Business. Retrieved on June 20, 2013.
  10. ^ "Claire's Stores Buys Rival Afterthoughts". Sun-Sentinel. Archived from the original on June 18, 2013. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  11. ^ Kapner, Suzanne (May 8, 2013). "Debt-Laden Claire's IPO Is for Test Market". The Wall Street Journal.
  12. ^ Tiffany Hsu (March 19, 2018). "Claire's, the Teen Jewelry Chain, Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy". The New York Times. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  13. ^ Borden, Taylor. "7 iconic brands beloved by millennials that are disappearing". Business Insider. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  14. ^ Meyersohn, Nathaniel (March 19, 2018). "Claire's files for bankruptcy". CNNMoney. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  15. ^ "Claire's Filing for Bankruptcy After Asbestos Found in Makeup". Mesothelioma Center - Vital Services for Cancer Patients & Families. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  16. ^ "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"
  17. ^ "Registration No. 333-." 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)"
  18. ^ "Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(3) Registration No. 333-175171." 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."
  19. ^ a b c d e f g Mann, Leslie. "Hot Stuff." Chicago Tribune. December 14, 1997. (Retrieved 2019-04-10.) "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.)"
  20. ^ "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."
  21. ^ "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."
  22. ^ a b c Russis, Martha. "PFIZER FINDS BUYER FOR ITS HEADQUARTERS[permanent dead link]." 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.[...]"
  23. ^ a b "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."
  24. ^ 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,[...]"
  25. ^ Giovis, Jaclyn. "EQUITY FIRM BUYS CLAIRE'S PEMBROKE PINES RETAILER AGREES TO $3.1 BILLION DEAL Archived November 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine." South Florida Sun-Sentinel. March 21, 2007. D1. Retrieved on December 24, 2011. "[...]which may include shedding Claire's Pembroke Pines headquarters and workers."
  26. ^ "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"
  27. ^ a b "CLAIRE'S MOVES OFFICES TO PINES[permanent dead link]." 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."
  28. ^ "Senior Management | Claire's Stores". Archived from the original on February 6, 2021. Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  29. ^ "Icing Fashion Jewelry & Accessories For Women - Icing US".
  30. ^ "Claire's US | Fashion Jewelry & Accessories | Claire's US". Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  31. ^ "- YouTube". YouTube.

External links edit