RIP Your Youth: Claire's Is Filing For Bankruptcy

Claire's has filed for bankruptcy. The hub for ear piercings at malls across America is the latest retailer to succumb to its massive pile of debt

Claire's, a mall chain store best known for performing ear piercing services and selling affordable jewelry and accessories has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company, which has been piercing ears since 1978, sells its products in more than 7,500 locations around the world.

Claire's expects its concessions business to grow by more than 4,000 stores in 2018, the company said.

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing specifically affects Claire's USA business and some of its affiliates in the country. The Company's iconic ear piercing services are unmatched and can not be replicated online.

"This transaction substantially reduces the debt on our balance sheet", said chief executive officer Ron Marshall said in statement.

"A Claire's store is located in approximately 99% of major shopping malls throughout the United States", Claire's said in a bankruptcy filing, citing data showing that traffic to malls had declined 8% over the previous year. It is the temple where 100 million people so far have gotten their ears pierced, and plenty more have bought cheap jewelry to complete their lewk. The filing impacts about 1,600 Claire's and Icing brand stores in the United States.

The company accrued the almost $2 billion debt after Apollo Global Management LLC purchased it for $3.1 billion in 2007.

A voluntary Chapter 11 filing typically allows a company to keep operating while it works out a plan to turn the business around and pay its creditors.

Claire's went private in 2007 in a leveraged buyout for $3.1 billion led by private equity firm Apollo Global Management, as The Wall Street Journal reported.

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