Less than two weeks after hundreds of Charlotte Russe stores were shuttered, the fast-fashion retailer's website and social media accounts are promoting a comeback.
"We are planning a brand new online shopping experience, as well as re-opening 100 retail locations across the US. Watch out for more details coming soon!," the Charlotte Russe Twitter account tweeted Thursday.
Toronto-based clothing manufacturer YM Inc. purchased the Charlotte Russe brand and intellectual property in late March, according to a news release.
"This acquisition marries a beloved brand with a sophisticated retail platform and provides Charlotte Russe a path to grow in the future," said Dayna Quanbeck, interim CEO of Charlotte Russe, in the release.
The San Diego-based mall chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early February and outlined plans to close 94 stores. After not finding a buyer, it announced it would liquidate.
The company, founded in 1975, caters its items toward women's fashion and had more than 500 stores in 49 states and Puerto Rico.
The year has been off to a rough start for all retail. Based on figures from global marketing research firm Coresight Research, bankruptcy filings and company earnings reports, more than 6,500 stores are slated to close in 2019.
The number of closings announced this year, now exceeds the number of closings in all of 2018, according to a Coresight Research report. In 2018, there were 5,864 closures announced.
The brick-and-mortar downturn is expected to continue, according to a report released this week from UBS Securities. Investment bank analysts said 75,000 more stores would need to be shuttered by 2026 if e-commerce “penetration rises from 16% currently to 25%.”
"Charlotte Russe is an iconic retailer and we could not be more excited to have them join the YM Group. We believe that this acquisition aligns well with our growth strategies and will further strengthen our mission to exceed customer expectations by delivering fast fashion at amazing value," said Eric Grundy, CEO of YM Inc.
While some fans of the brand said they were happy to hear about the possible comeback, the news wasn't well-received by all.
"I lost my job just so the company could “rebrand” and open new stores. That’s ugly I can’t believe you did this to your employees!." Twitter user @death_metal_nat wrote. "This better be (because) someone bought the name or something, did they know this was the plan from the start?!"
Twitter user @charlotterusee1 questioned if the announcement was a joke.
"Thousands of us lost our jobs, were left out of vital information throughout the entire process, read about our futures from magazines since no one updated us.. only for this to happen," the tweet said. "What a slap in the face to the dedicated employees you cast aside."
@FoshawSarah wanted to know if the employees who lost jobs would have standing job offers.
@ladyofthewolve3 tweeted it won't be the same.
"While all of you are excited and happy 8,000 of us are extremely upset and still trying to find jobs after being just tossed away after closing our beloved stores,” @ladyofthewolve3 wrote. "New team, new Charlotte .. they won’t be the Charlotte you all knew just keep that in mind."
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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