Claire's

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Claire's Stores, Inc.
Formerly called
Fashion Tress Industries (1961–1973)
Claire's Accessories
(1973–1997)
Industry Retail
Founded 1961; 57 years ago (1961) (as Fashion Tress Industries)
Founder Rowland Schaefer
Headquarters Hoffman Estates, Illinois, U.S.
Number of locations
3,469 stores
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Ron Marshall (CEO)
Products Accessories, jewelry, and cosmetics
Revenue DecreaseUS$ 1.403 Billion (2015)[1][dead link]
DecreaseUS$ –14.6 million (2015)[1]
DecreaseUS$ –236.4 million (2015)[1]
Owner Apollo Global Management
Number of employees
18,100 (2015)[1]
Website www.claires.com

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.[2]

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).[3]

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.[4]

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.'"[5]

History[edit]

1961: Founded as Fashion Tress Industries by Rowland Schaefer. It focused on wigs and became the world's largest retailer of fashion wigs.[6]

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 Accessories, Inc.[6]

1978: Claire's Accessories began providing ear piercing services.

1980: Established a Hong Kong-based sourcing office.

1980s: Claire's Accessories continues store expansion throughout the United States.

1989: Bought Topkapi, a Japanese chain with 16 stores[6]

1995: Bought Bow Bangles, a British chain with 71 stores in England, Wales, and Scotland.[7]

1996: Bought The Icing, an American chain with 85 stores. It would become the company's primary brand for women in their 20s.[6]

1996: Bought Accessory Place, an American chain with 31 stores.[6]

1997: Business name changed to Claire's[citation needed]

1998: Bought Bijoux One, a Swiss chain.[8]

1999: Bought Cleopatre, a privately owned chain based in Paris with 42 stores, for $11 million in cash.[9]

1999: Bought Afterthoughts, whose stores were converted to Icing stores[10]

2001: Launched claires.com

2002: Purchased US-based clothing chain Mr. Rags

2005: Listed in the NASDAQ[citation needed]

2007: Taken private by private equity firm Apollo Global Management in a $3.1 billion leveraged buyout[11]

2008: Consolidated its European operations into one group, headquartered in Birmingham.

2010: Opened its first stores in Ukraine.[citation needed]

2011: Launched e-commerce in the United States and opened its first stores in India and Mexico.

2012: Opened its first stores in China, Italy, Indonesia, Luxembourg, Dominican Republic, Panama, and Honduras

2018: Files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US.[12]

Offices[edit]

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

Illinois office[edit]

Claire's has its Illinois offices in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.[16][17] The facility is a brown brick building off of Interstate 90 (Northwest Tollway),[5][18] near Barrington Road.[18] 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.[5] The company's buying, distribution, and marketing divisions are in the Hoffman Estates facility.[19] 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."[5] 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."[5]

A facility in Wood Dale, Illinois used to serve the purposes now held by the Hoffman Estates office.[5] 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.[18] 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.[20]

Florida office[edit]

Its Florida office in Pembroke Pines, Florida, in Greater Miami.[21][22] 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.[23] As of 1997 the CEO has his office in Pembroke Pines.[5] In addition, the company's customer service and investor relations divisions are located in the Pembroke Pines offices.[19] 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.[23]

Store types[edit]

Claire's branch in North Street, Chichester
Claire's branch in Boulevard Saint Michel, Paris

Stores are aimed principally at teens and tweens and as so 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 clair's section for all the girls and young women that shop there.

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.[24]

Merchandise[edit]

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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d http://www.clairestores.com/phoenix.zhtml[dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Claire's Stores, Inc. 10-K filing for fiscal year ending Jan 2014". services.corporate-ir.net. Retrieved 20 March 2018. 
  3. ^ "Claire's Stores, Inc. Announces First Store Openings In Venezuela & Panama, Expanding Its Global Reach To 36 Countries". PRNewswire. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Get your ears pierced at Claire's". Claire's Stores, Inc. Archived from the original on 30 September 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h 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.)"
  6. ^ a b c d e "History of Claire's Stores, Inc. – FundingUniverse". www.fundinguniverse.com. 
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ 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[...]"
  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. 
  11. ^ "Debt-Laden Claire's IPO Is for Test Market". 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. ^ "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"
  14. ^ "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)"
  15. ^ "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."
  16. ^ "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."
  17. ^ "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."
  18. ^ a b c 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.[...]"
  19. ^ 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."
  20. ^ 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,[...]"
  21. ^ 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."
  22. ^ "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"
  23. ^ a b "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."
  24. ^ "Icing Fashion Jewelry & Accessories For Women - Icing US". www.icingbyclaires.com. 

External links[edit]