Even as a national retail association predicts a strong holiday shopping season, another retailer is turning to the protection of bankruptcy, a move that will result in the closing of six of its Illinois locations.
Charming Charlie, an accessories retailer, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this week. The retailer says that it will close six of its stores in Illinois, locations in Mount Prospect, Vernon Hills, South Barrington, Lombard, Wheaton and Kildeer.
The announced closures are among 97 for which Charming Charlie, based in Houston, is seeing court approval.
It’s not certain yet when the locations will close, though the retailer does plan to keep them open through the holiday shopping season.
Charming Charlie, though, will still have plenty of locations after the bankruptcy. The chain currently operates more than 375 stores in the United States and Canada. The company, in a news release, said that the store closures are part of its plan to move forward with what it called a “back-to-basics” strategy.
“We are confident that by reducing the size and scale of our business, we can focus on the core strengths that make the company successful,” said Lana Krauter, interim chief executive officer of the company, in a written statement.
It’s no surprise that Charming Charlie is keeping the stores open through the holiday shopping season. So far, this holiday season has been a strong one for sales. The National Retail Federation reported that from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday this year, more than 174 million U.S. consumers shopped in stores and online. That beat a prediction of 164 million estimated shoppers from an earlier survey by the federation.
Average spending during that five-day period per person came in at a healthy $335.47, with 75 percent of that figure – $250.78 – specifically going toward gifts. The biggest spenders were older Millennials, those from 25 to 34 years old, who spent an average of $419.52 during the period.