|Headquarters||Hoffman Estates, Illinois, U.S.|
Number of locations
|Beatrice Lafon (CEO)|
|Products||Accessories, jewelry, and cosmetics|
|Revenue||US$ 1.41 Billion (2008)|
|-US$ 446 Million (2008)|
|-US$ 644 Million (2008)|
|Owner||Apollo Global Management|
Number of employees
|17,600 (January 2009)|
As of October 27, 2012, Claire's has 3,469 stores in 36 countries: 1,947 in North America (United States & 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 80 million in 25+ years.
In 1996, Leslie Mann of the Chicago Tribune said that "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."
|This section requires expansion. (June 2013)|
1961: Founded as Fashion Tress Industries by Rowland Schaefer. FTI focused on wigs, and became the world's largest retailer of fashion wigs.
1973: Fashion Tress acquired Claire's, a 25-store jewelry chain, and shifted focus away from wigs to a full line of fashion jewelry and accessories. The new firm was named Claire's Stores, Inc.
1978: Claire's began providing ear piercing services.
1980: Established a Hong Kong based sourcing office.
1980s: Claire's continues store expansion throughout the United States.
1989: Bought Topkapi, a Japanese chain with 16 stores
1996: Bought The Icing, an American chain with 85 stores. This would become the company's primary brand for women in their 20s.
1996: Bought Accessory Place, an American chain with 31 stores.
1999: Bought Afterthoughts, which were converted to Icing stores
2001: Launched claires.com
2002: Purchased U.S. based clothing chain Mr. Rags
2005: Claire's Stores, Inc was listed on the NASDAQ.
2008: Consolidated its European operations into one group, headquartered in Birmingham.
2010: Opened its first stores in Ukraine.
As of 2014 Claire's has 6 offices:
- Hoffman Estates, Illinois (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 (suburb of Miami): Accounting
- Paris: Field Support
- Madrid: Field Support
Claire's has its Illinois offices in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, in Greater 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 that "Except for the prototype store in the lobby and the fashion accessories that line the walls of the buyers' offices, the center is unremarkable."
Previously a facility in Wood Dale, Illinois served 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 as such have a kid's section. They average about 1,000 sq. feet, are typically located in malls, and carry the widest selection of merchandise among Claire's brands. Claire's 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. Claire's stores are merchandised to accommodate these different ages, and fashion trends are manipulated to appeal to all ages.
Within America and Canada, Claire's also operates under the Icing brand. These stores are 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, footwear and many other items. Icing typically does not offer licensed merchandise.
Claire's sell accessories geared towards tweens, teens, and young adults, meant to imitate higher end fashion trends. Costume jewelry, imitation jewelry of precious gems and materials such as pearls and diamonds, branded merchandise advertising 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 to teens, or those over 12 years of age.
Claire's also carries an assortment of seasonal holiday items such as Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, and Christmas items.
Nearly all Claire's locations also offer ear piercing as all the staff are fully trained in using the Studex 'gun'. Claire's start piercing customers at the age of four months with their sixteen-week immunizations and does not pierce the cartilage of people under 14. Although Claire's target customers are girls and young women, as fashion trends have changed, it has also become a popular place for boys to get their ears pierced as well.
The store carries its own range of perfumes.
- "Claire’s Stores names Beatrice Lafon as CEO".
- Claire's Stores, Inc. 10-K filing for fiscal year ending Jan 2009 (April 28, 2009)
- Claire's Stores, Inc. 10-K filing for fiscal year ending Jan 2014
- "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.)"
- Funding Universe: History of Claire's Stores, Inc.
- "TO EXPAND OVERSEAS, CLAIRE'S STORES ACQUIRES OPTION TO BUY BRITISH CHAIN." Miami Herald. September 6, 1995. p. 3C Business. Retrieved on June 20, 2013.
- 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.
- "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." 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."
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