Women’s fashion retailer Charlotte Russe calls it a day

HARLINGEN — In another blow to Rio Grande Valley malls, women’s clothing retailer Charlotte Russe announced yesterday it was closing all of its 416 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico.

On the list are locations at La Plaza mall in McAllen, Valle Vista mall and Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets in Mercedes.

Just one month ago, the fashion retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and listed debts of between $100 million and $500 million. But the California-based company, founded 44 years ago, was apparently unable to secure new lines of credit or a buyer to keep operating.

“We are partnering with SB360 Capital to liquidate the remaining inventory in a manner which maximizes the return to our creditors,” company executives said in a statement to USA Today. “In addition, we remain in ongoing negotiations to sell the (intellectual property) to a buyer who has expressed interest in a continued brick-and-mortar presence.”

Texas ranked second-highest among states with Charlotte Russe locations with 44 stores. In February, Charlotte Russe shut down mall stores in Fort Worth, Cedar Hill, Waco, Victoria and New Braunfels.

The company sold trendy apparel, shoes and accessories for younger women. Sales peaked in 2016 at $986 million.

Charlotte Russe becomes the latest big-name retailer to shut down in 2019. Already this year, Payless ShoeSource, Gymboree and Victoria’s Secret made similar announcements.