Claire's files for bankruptcy, hopes to keep local stores open

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The jewelry and accessory store filed for chapter 11 protection Monday morning.

While mall traffic has been declining over the years with the rise of online shopping, Claire's says its beloved ear-piercing service is internet-proof since it can not be replicated on the web.

While Claire's is not expecting to go out of business, the retailers does join the ranks of other stores beloved by Americans in the '90s and early 2000s now facing similar financial scenarios.

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"Its plan to survive rests on its reputation for trendy merchandise and a unique service that it says can't be replicated by shopping online: ear piercing", reported Bloomberg News.

Claire's Stores operates more than 7,500 locations in 45 countries, including two stores in The Empire Mall.

Claire's, which also owns the Icing chain, fell victim to the heavy load of debt when private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC orchestrated a $3.1 billion buyout in 2007, according to USA Today.

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According to Claire's, it has a majority approval of from its Ad Hoc Group of First Lien Creditors led by Elliott Management Corporation and Monarch Alternative Capital LP. Under the plan, they will provide Claire's with approximately $575 million in new capital. In 1978, it kicked off its signature ear-piercing business; in its filing, the company boasted its punched holes in 100,000,000 ears. Recent closures in Northwest Indiana or the south suburbs have included Sears, Kmart, Best Buy, MC Sports, Gander Mountain, Sports Authority and many others. worldwide stores are not part of the restructuring agreement.

Claire's is owned by private equity firm Apollo Global Management, which paid 3.1 billion USA dollars for the company in 2007.

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