Charlotte Russe under fire for disappointing results before and after brand relaunch

By Rachida Harper on July 1, 2019

Just three months after announcing going out of business and closing online and in-store locations, the new and improved Charlotte Russe is open for business. Unfortunately, many are not happy with what the retailer has done and has to offer.

In an attempt to save the business, Charlotte Russe filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Feb. 3, 2019, according to finance company Donlin Recano and closed 94 locations. Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows for companies in debt to reorganize its finances and pay back dues while still running as an operation. A bankruptcy auction followed and liquidation firm SB360 Capital Partners won $160 million dollars’ worth of the business’ inventory according to its site.

On March 6, Charlotte Russe announced that its online site was officially closed, and liquidation sales would begin the following day at its remaining 416 in-store locations. At the time of the announcement, Executive Vice President of SB360 Aaron Miller believed liquidation sales would bring new value to the business.

“Charlotte Russe established itself over the last four decades as a fashion destination for young women. A sale of this magnitude will bring never-seen-before values to a broad selection of today’s best fashion trends,” Miller said.

With the closing of all 500 locations, over 8,000 Charlotte Russe employees lost their job, according to Fortune. The issue did not end there.

Image provided by Unsplash.com

Near the end of March, the Charlotte Russe brand and its related property were sold to YM. Inc., a clothing manufacturer that includes brands such as Urban Planet, Stitches and West49, according to a press release.

“We are very excited Charlotte Russe will be joining the portfolio of brands at YM. This acquisition marries a beloved brand with a sophisticated retail platform and provides Charlotte Russe a path to grow in the future. We thank our loyal customers and employees for sticking by us through the past several months,” interim CEO of Charlotte Russe Dayna Quanbeck said in the press release.

On April 11, Charlotte Russe announced via Twitter that 100 retail locations would reopen across the U.S., as well as a new shopping experience for the e-commerce store. In the announcement, the retailer promises a new team, new selection and new Charlotte Russe. Former employees were not pleased with the store’s re-branding.

Former keyholder Madison Medsker worked at Charlotte Russe for two years, only to lose her job in an abrupt manner. She found out five days before closing that she was going to lose her job and not get paid what she earned.

“I think the company should be responsible for giving their employees another job or supply a bonus pay,” Medsker said. “Actually, I was suppose[d] to get a bonus check but the company who bought us out, SB360, decided to take away my bonus check a few days before we closed, which was very wrong on so many levels.”

Former supervisor Caitlin, @maulsrobolegs on Twitter, did not know when her last day of work would be due to the company’s lack of communication.

“Saying they have a ‘new team’ is a slap in the face to the old team that worked so hard to close their stores down,” Caitlin said. “I think they could have been more communicative, so people have more time to look for jobs instead of being told days beforehand that we’re closing in [four] days.”

As of June, Charlotte Russe has relaunched its website and opened 18 out of 100 store locations. Based on Twitter, there are mixed feelings about the relaunch, with some people exclaiming their eagerness to shop again, while others find the selection of clothing “extremely disappointing.” More stores are planned to reopen in the upcoming months.

Aspiring journalist and student reporter at Palm Beach Atlantic University.

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