Claire’s Stores names Beatrice Lafon as CEO

SHARE Claire’s Stores names Beatrice Lafon as CEO

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Claire’s Stores Inc. has named an insider to serve as the new CEO of the jewelry and accessories company following the resignation of its current chief executive.

The Chicago-based retailer said Tuesday that James Fielding has resigned and will be replaced by Beatrice Lafon, president of its business in Europe. The change takes effect Wednesday.

Claire’s did not give a reason or further detail for Fielding’s departure, but made the announcement as it reported a dramatic drop in its quarterly profit.

The privately-held company said that it earned $7.4 million for the period that ended Feb. 1, down from net income of $42.2 million in the prior year. The company was weighed down by higher expenses for severance, transaction-related costs and depreciation and amortization.

Its quarterly revenue also dropped nearly 12 percent to $435.5 million from $493.4 million. The retailer attributed the decline to weaker revenue from its established stores, some store closures and a decrease in shipments to franchisees. The prior year’s quarter also got a boost from an extra week.

The company recently decided to close its stores in China. It is in the process of closing its office and 17 company-operated stores there but said that it is looking into reintroducing the brand through a franchise model.

Claire’s said that its revenue from stores open at least a year fell 10.7 percent with weakness in both the U.S. and Europe. This is considered a key indicator of financial health as it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed sites.

The company has 3,535 stores globally, of which 421 are franchised.

The Latest
The 6-9 Illinois recruit is the 65th Sun-Times Player of the Year and the fifth from south suburban powerhouse Thornton.
The American dream, however, comes with lots of paperwork for Afghan refugees. Some Chicago lawyers are trying to help them jump through the hoops.
Cook County Judge Tracie Porter put her ruling on hold until Friday, expecting Trump’s lawyers to appeal. They did so hours after the decision was handed down. For now, nothing has changed at the ballot box. If Porter’s ruling does go into effect, she ordered that “any votes cast” for Trump “be suppressed.”
Prosecutors have accused defense attorneys for the four people convicted of conspiring to bribe Michael Madigan of “claiming victory prematurely.” But one defense attorney predicted that “the convictions are not going to stand.”
Purity tests, owning the libs, keeping their base angry, prostrating to Donald Trump and getting reelected are just some of the things Republicans have decided are far more important than governing.