Retailer BeBe to Close All Stores

Mall retailer Bebe has filed a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicating their plans to close all their stores by the end of May.

The exact number of stores was not immediately available. The filing didn't specify whether it will continue as an online-only retailer.

Bebe is the latest casualty in what nearly seems a race of brick-and-mortar retailers heading to insolvency, unable to compete with online sales.

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Before that announcement, Bebe had 168 stores in the United States and Canada.

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's strategy was predicated on designing and selling its own line of women's clothing that it called "unique, sophisticated and timelessly sexy", which the chain said defined "next-generation chic while staying true to its assertive, provocative origins".

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Bebe was founded in 1976.

The company had previously said it would close 21 locations. In March, Bebe management and its board said they would explore "strategic alternatives" and hired financial advisor B. Riley and an unnamed real estate advisor to assist in a restructuring. It closed one store in the second quarter and made plans to close as many 25 bebe and outlet stores in fiscal 2017; Those plans have now expanded to include all stores.

Bebe, a brand with a solid reputation for chic fashion, hasn't been the same since the departure of creative director Neda Mashouf, who exited after her 2007 divorce from founder Manny Mashouf, who was president and controlling investor at the time and took over as CEO a little over year ago.

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