Apparel retailer Bebe Stores says to shut all stores

Reuters

Reuters

Bebe had 180 retail stores as of December 31, 2016 and about 2,601 employees as of July 2, 2016, according to filings.

Consultant will be paid $550,000 in consideration for its services, plus reimbursement for certain expenses, and will receive an additional fee of 15% of the gross proceeds generated from the sale of the furnishings, trade fixtures, equipment and improvements to real property. The retailer expects to close all of its stores by the end of May 2017.

In February, bebe was already in the process of shrinking its store base. The impairment charge will be recorded with the third and fourth quarters of 2017.

The retailer has been struggling for a while. The store used to have a location at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover which closed years ago. For the six months ended January 2, same-store sales decreased 7.4%.

Bebe has no significant debt, but the retailer has lost about $200 million over the past four years. The company posted a net loss of $13 million during that period, down from $22.5 million a year earlier. The company said it was not clear yet how large a loss the decision would trigger.

Bebe is a victim of retail migration to e-commerce.

Shares of the company hit a 14-month low of $3.02 in morning trading. Still, the small improvements weren't enough to save the retailer's stores.

The company's demise, which apparently comes without a bankruptcy filing, continues a wave of implosions among national retailers, as malls face declining foot traffic.

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