Claire’s has abandoned a plan to go public, at least for now, according to a filing last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“In light of public equity market conditions, we have decided to postpone our IPO while we continue to focus on our strategic initiatives,” Claire’s CEO Ryan Vero said in an emailed statement. “We look forward to renewing our IPO preparation when market conditions are more favorable.”
There was a marked drop-off in IPO filings last year, after a flurry of initial public offerings in 2021. The pace has failed to pick up so far this year, either.
When Claire’s first filed to go public nearly two years ago, the retailer seemed to be on the upswing, with sales that had nearly doubled in the first half of 2021, and operational profitability swinging into the black. Even then, though, the company warned that it lagged in e-commerce, according to its preliminary prospectus, filed last August.
In recent years, the chain has expanded its reach via shop-in-shops at other retailers. In November, Claire’s and Macy’s announced a tie-up that put Claire’s concessions in 21 Macy’s locations, including eight flagships. A few weeks before, Claire’s had announced an expansion of its partnership with Walmart.
In addition to such concessions in North America and Europe, the company runs 2,300 Claire’s stores in 17 countries throughout North America and Europe and 190 Icing stores in North America. There are also more than 300 franchised Claire’s stores, primarily in the Middle East and South Africa, according to the company's website.
Last month, the retailer named former Children’s Place merchandising executive Claudia Lima-Guinehut as chief merchant.