Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Nov. 29, 2022

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Tween jewelry retailer Claire’s expands to more Walmart stores

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Tween jewelry retailer Claire’s announced it had expanded its partnership with Walmart Tuesday, nearly doubling the number of stores its jewelry and accessories are available in nationwide.

The expansion includes eight Chicago-area Walmart stores in Huntley, Lockport, Oswego, Aurora, Rolling Meadows, Montgomery, Country Club Hills and Homewood. Products will be rolled out at two additional yet-to-be-named locations this fall. Before the expansion, Claire’s products were sold in more than 40 area Walmarts.

Claire’s, the Hoffman Estates-based retail chain known as a popular destination for teenage ear piercings, began its partnership with Walmart in 2018. Claire’s jewelry and accessories are now available in more than 2,500 stores across the U.S., up from about 1,300, the company said.

Claire’s also operates mini standalone stores within Walmarts in more than 360 locations, though none are in the Chicago area. Ear piercings are available at the company’s store-within-stores. The company has partnerships with more than 30 other retailers, including CVS and Albertsons, but Walmart is its only store-within-store partner.

“With these new locations, we’re excited to build on the success we have seen with our partnership and our own expanding consumer products business to reach more customers where they live and shop,” said Claire’s CEO Ryan Vero in a statement.

“Walmart is continuing to establish itself as a fashion destination with a focus on expanding our assortment of quality, on-trend and accessible apparel and accessories,” Walmart’s vice president of jewelry and accessories Michelle Gill said in a statement.

Claire’s struggled in the mid-2010s, closing stores in malls and eventually filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018. Since then, the company has turned its finances around, filing for an initial public offering of $100 million in September 2021. The company was publicly held before its private equity backer at the time, Apollo Global Management, took it private in 2007. As of April 2022, the company operated more than 1,500 standalone stores in North America.

In February, the company reported net sales of nearly $1.4 billion in 2021, a growth of 53 percent over 2020 and a growth of 9 percent over 2019. Sales at its retail partners were 70 percent higher than in 2020.

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