Anytime a store you grew up with begins to have money problems, it's a hard pill to swallow. Today, unfortunately, is a sad day for anyone who's ever been 13. The popular mall retailer Charlotte Russe is filing for bankruptcy, planning to close almost 100 of the 500 stores that are still standing.
According to CNN, a court filing explained that the brand saw its sales decreasing due to low foot traffic as well as the overall responsibility of having to merchandise physical stores had put a strain on the company as a whole. Over time the company didn't have the sales to pay off its debt. Currently, Charlotte Russe owns an existing 500 stores across the country throughout various malls, so this closure would result in a 20% overall store decrease.
When it comes to fast-fashion, trends and styles will change in an instant, especially when brands like Fashion Nova rely heavily on social media and influencer marketing to push the brand into the limelight. Admittedly, what hurt the brand the most was its inability to utilize more current marketing tactics that could relate to young people as well as incorporating those trends and styles that Gen. Z and millennials gravitate to most often.
Charlotte Russe isn’t the first coveted mall brand to file for bankruptcy, as it trails only months behind others like Claire’s and its sister brand, Icing.
The chain explained that it’s only filling for bankruptcy for now, but that it hopes to seek out a buyer before the brand goes into closing all of its stores. On the other hand, according to Argus Leader, if said buyer isn’t found by Feb. 17, the brand will have to completely liquidate.
Charlotte Russe was initially founded in 1975 for teens and young adults. The brand had maintained its style around bohemian '60s and '70s culture while also incorporating key styles popular among a youthful demographic seen in a lot of its competitors like H&M and Forever 21.
Back in 2015, Charlotte Russe had tried to make their brand a bigger success when it had finally launched a plus size collection that ranged from an 1X to 3X in tops and also offered denim in sizes 16 to 24.
More recently, Charlotte Russe tried to make the brand more appealing, launching its own beauty brand in April of last year. The brand was selling all of its hair, makeup and skin products for under $15, offering its customers an even more competitive quality for mall shoppers.
Despite Charlotte Russe' bankruptcy being a potential sign of being the end of an era, there will still be floral print tiny backpacks and whimsical platform shoes laying in the back of our closets.