Bebe Stores to close all stores, becoming latest retail casualty

Bebe expects to close all of its brick-and-mortar locations by the end of May, the clothing retailer said in a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bebe has reportedly joined a long list of retailers that are shuttering stores this year.

The exact number of stores was not immediately available.

Bebe has plenty of company in the struggling brick-and-mortar retail industry. In the same week, Macy's also said it was closing dozens of stores.

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The Bay Area, which boasts relatively low vacancy at its shopping centers, had mostly been resilient to the closures until JCPenney recently announced it would shutter its store in Richmond's Hilltop mall.

Bebe is also planning on liquidating all of its merchandise and fixtures within its stores, according to a regulatory filing.

Bankruptcy filings of other retailers within the last several weeks have included Payless ShoeSource, Gander Mountain and HHGregg. Executives at the company's California headquarters could not be reached for comment.

Bebe Stores Inc. started in 1976 and describes itself as staying true to its "assertive, provocative origins". Earlier this month, the company said it planned to close 28 stores and was trying to figure out what to do with the rest of them. The company says its name is inspired by Shakespeare's words, "To be, or not to be". The company previously disclosed in March that it was exploring strategic alternatives. Net sales for the formerly profitable Bebe were $101.9 million in the second quarter of the 2017 fiscal year, a decrease of 16.8 percent from $122.4 million reported for the second quarter a year ago.

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