Natick Mall Store Files For Bankruptcy

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Claire's reported on Monday that it is "confident" it will emerge from bankruptcy protection in September after having reduced its debt by almost $2 billion.

The company said in a statement that it is "confident" it will survive the bankruptcy process, which it hopes to emerge from by September.

Claire's, known for its ear-piercing program, operates in 99% of USA malls, according to the company's court filing.

According to Monday's press release, the company plans to pursue a financial restructuring to a eliminate a "substantial portion of debt" from its balance sheet.

Claire's is the latest retailer to seek bankruptcy protection, close stores or go out of business entirely.

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The company pointed to strong earnings minus debt costs and ear piercing services that are not affected by online competition.

In the Lehigh Valley, the chain operates stores inside the Lehigh Valley Mall, South Mall, Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley and Palmer Park Mall.

Prior to the much-anticipated filing, the retailer, now owned by Apollo Global Management, devised a restructuring plan with two of its primary lenders, Elliott Management Corp. and Monarch Alternative Capital. It is the temple where 100 million people so far have gotten their ears pierced, and plenty more have bought cheap jewelry to complete their lewk.

"The retail industry as a whole has been challenged by shifts in consumer purchasing preferences and habits", Claire's said in a bankruptcy filing.

The Company has obtained $135 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing commitments, including an asset-based lending facility and a term loan from Citigroup Global Markets Inc. Typically retailers use the Chapter 11 filing to announce closings. Claire's says an agreement with creditors will cut its debt and provide 575-million dollars in new capital.