Charming Charlie

Charming Charlie has 261 stores in 38 states, including nine in North Carolina.

Jewelry and accessories retailer Charming Charlie Holdings Inc. has become the latest retailer to announce it is going out of business.

The retailer, with stores in Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem and Friendly Center in Greensboro, confirmed Friday its second Chapter 11 bankruptcy-protection filing.

The retailer, based in Houston, closed about 100 stores as part of the first bankruptcy filing from which it emerged in April 2018.

This time, it will close its remaining 261 stores in 38 states, including nine overall in North Carolina, by Aug. 31.

Going-out-of-business sales have commenced at some stores that begin with price reductions of 20% to 50% off original prices with an extra 20% off the lowest ticketed price of clearance merchandise.

The store closing sales are being conducted by a joint venture consisting of Hilco Merchant Resources and SB360 Capital Partners.

“We have not yet been informed of an exact date but believe the store will close by the end of August,” said Sarah Kotelnicki, marketing director for Hanes Mall and Friendly Center.

“Charming Charlie has been on our watch list for some time and our leasing team has been proactively seeking replacements for the space.”

The retailer said in a court filing Thursday that its first bankruptcy efforts to cut expenses “simply were not sufficient to stabilize” the business.

Its assets were listed at between $10 million and $50 million, while its liabilities were listed between $101 million and $500 million. It had between 100 and 149 creditors.

The company said it faced “unsustainable operating expenses, including onerous leases” — a common concern expressed by struggling brick-and-mortar retailers as they try to compete with online merchants.

Charming Charlie joins an lengthening list of brick-and-mortar retailers closing for good or converting to digital-only sales.

In March, Lifeway Christian Resources said it was closing all 170 stores by the end of the year. LifeWay has a store in Winston-Salem at 1082 Hanes Mall Blvd., in Greensboro at 5417-B Sapp Road, in Burlington at 1348 Java Lane, and 12 overall in North Carolina.

Gap Inc., J.C. Penney and Victoria’s Secret all announced store closings this year.

Gap Inc. plans to close 230 Gap specialty stores over the next two years, while Victoria’s Secret is closing 53 stores and J.C. Penney 15 stores and nine home-and-furniture hybrid stores. Each has a store in Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem.

Hanes Mall experienced the closing of another original anchor retailer in Sears on Jan. 27.

Payless ShoeSource’s decision to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation on Feb. 24 included closing two stores each in Winston-Salem and Greensboro by May.

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily morning newsletter.

rcraver@wsjournal.com 336-727-7376 @rcraverWSJ

Load comments