Charlotte Russe Expands Store Fleet After Filing for Bankruptcy

Charlotte Russe is bouncing back from bankruptcy with a bigger fleet of stores.

The fast-fashion business, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in February and liquidated the following month, has been opening new outposts — a total of about 135 thus far, according to an executive who works at owner YM Inc.’s U.S subsidiary, A&M LLC, according to a Retail Dive report.

The source added that the expansion effort would continue next year, with an additional round of store openings slated for February. FN has reached out to the holding company for confirmation.

Over the spring, YM, which acquired the teen retailer’s name and intellectual property in March, announced that it planned to open roughly 100 Charlotte Russe stores. The Toronto-based retail conglomerate operates brands including Urban Planet, Bluenotes and Sirens, all of which are also mall staples providing an affordable price point.

In its bankruptcy filing, Charlotte Russe said in recent years the brand “failed to connect” with teenagers and young adults and to “outpace the rapidly evolving fashion trends.” It announced the closures of just 94 stores but was unable to find a buyer that would keep afloat the business, which had 512 stores at the time. Instead, the retailer sold its inventory and other assets in March to liquidator SB360 Capital Partners for $59 million.

Court documents added that, beyond declining sales and in-store traffic, Charlotte Russe was unable to “effectively reposition their e-commerce business and social media engagement strategy.” The Retail Dive source said that since then, its online business, which was relaunched, is performing “very well.”

Although under new management, the brand has held onto its name and logo, much like Nine West and Bandolino, which was sold last year to Authentic Brands Group in June. Other bankrupt retail brands that have sold their brands after liquidating stores include Aéropostale, American Apparel, The Limited, Delia’s and Wet Seal.

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