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Published: Sat, April 22, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Bebe to close all stores by end of May

Bebe to close all stores by end of May

Bebe has stores at Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets in Mercedes, Sunrise Mall in Brownsville and La Plaza in McAllen.

Another major women's fashion retailer is closing all its stores.

The retailer has been considering its brick-and-mortar plan for a while.

The company hinted at closing stores in an SEC filing last month, which said it was "exploring strategic alternatives" following four years of losses.

Started in 1976, the clothing company rose to prominence in the early 2000s, known for its youthful clubwear.

Bebe has plenty of company in the struggling brick-and-mortar retail industry.

The company's sales for the first six months of its 2017 fiscal year, a period that ended December 31, totaled $189.2 million, down 13.5% from a year earlier. Earlier this month, the company said it planned to close 28 stores and was trying to figure out what to do with the rest of them.

Like other retailers, executives at Bebe have tried to turn things around by ramping up its online business, but that has not been enough to make up for the losses.

It's one in a string of retail casualties at the mall since the end of 2016: Women's clothier The Limited and Kirkland's home furnishings also have closed.

Apparently, this store closure plan has been something that's been on the table for a while.

Bebe is the latest in a parade of retailers to have recently closed their doors amid intense online competition and the popularity of fast-fashion and discount retailers like H&M and T.J. Maxx.

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