- Claire's Stores has hired Ryan Vero, formerly president of Party City, to head the teen accessories retailer as CEO, Claire's said Tuesday in a press release.
- Vero takes over for interim CEO Kevin Corning. Corning, who has served as chief since March, is set return to his role on Claire's board after helping with the transition. Prior to Corning, Ron Marshall had been Claire's CEO since 2016. Marshall left the company March 21.
- At Party City, Vero oversaw the retailer's stores, as well as e-commerce and web operations. He has also held roles at Sears and OfficeMax.
Even after a brush with bankruptcy, Claire's remains a large retailer, with more than 2,400 stores and nearly 6,800 concession stands, including in CVS stores.
The teen retailer was part of a class of retail Chapter 11s in recent years to use the bankruptcy process to close stores, remove debt and reorganize in hopes of making a second go of it with a smaller business to match a shifting retail environment.
A handful of those recent Chapter 11 reorganizations have failed. Payless, Gymboree and, most recently, Charming Charlie, have all gone into bankruptcy again with plans to wind down entirely after their respective restructurings failed to create a viable business.
Retailers often liquidate when debtholders and other stakeholders see more value in their assets than the whole, as an operating business. But multiple stakeholders saw value in Claire's as an operating retailer, and actually fought over just how much value it had. The company exited bankruptcy last fall.
In Vero, Claire's gets a CEO who has experience at a retailer that has managed to hold its own in a party products market that includes mass merchants, dollar stores and online players. Party City has done that partly by controlling much of its manufacturing and through a strong wholesale business. It has also experimented with toys (in the wake of the Toys R Us liquidation) and new store formats.
Samantha Algaze, who chairs Claire's board, said in a statement of Vero that his "track record of growth through innovation makes him the ideal leader to drive Claire's into the future."
This story has been updated to include Ron Marshall's departure date.