Apparel retailer Bebe Stores says to shut all stores

Apparel retailer Bebe Stores says to shut all stores

REUTERS: Struggling apparel retailer Bebe Stores Inc said on Friday it would close all its stores by the end of May, barely a month after announcing it was exploring strategic alternatives following four years of losses.The company also plans to liquidate all merchandise and fixtures within the stores, it said in a regulatory filing on Friday. Bloomberg reported last month that Bebe was planning to shut stores and seek a turnaround as an online brand to avoid filing for bankruptcy.A number of apparel retailers have gone bankrupt in the last couple of years, including Aeropostale and The Limited, due to lackluster demand as they battle stiff competition from Amazon.com Inc and fast-fashion retailers such as H M and Zara.Bebe expects to recognize an impairment charge of about US$20 million from the store closures, which will be recorded in the third and fourth quarters.The company did not…