Claire's Stores is scrapping its plans for an initial public offering, as the retailer of teen girls' accessories struggles to boost profits and meet its debt obligations, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company is seeking to withdraw its IPO registration, filed in May of 2013. The company's only statement on the matter was that "it has decided not to proceed with the offering at this time," according to its filing, submitted on Tuesday.
Claire's did not immediately return a request for comment.
Apollo Global Management (APO) - Get Apollo Global Management Inc. Class A Report acquired Claire's for $3.1 billion in 2007. The New York City-based private equity firm looked to raise $100 million by taking Claire's public.
Claire's decision to remain private comes at a particularly scant time for retail IPOs.
In 2016, only three retail companies went public, raising a total of $314 million. In 2015, there were seven retail IPOs, which raised $1.2 billion, and in 2014, there were 11, which generated $1.7 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
And, if 2017 was anticipated to be the year of a resurgence in retail IPOs, it is not off to a great start.
Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group pulled the plug on its IPO earlier this month after seeing five straight quarters of declining same-store sales, saying it is not in the best interest of the company to proceed with going public at this time.
For its recent fiscal 2017 first quarter, Neiman reported an 8% slip in comparable store sales.
Claire's decision to pull the plug on its IPO comes as the company, like many other brick-and-mortar retailers, grapples with boosting foot traffic and sales.
Recently, Macy's (M) - Get Macy's Inc Report and Kohl's (KSS) - Get Kohl's Corporation (KSS) Reportslashed their earnings guidance amid a 2.1% year-over-year decline in same-store sales in November and December, while Sears Holding's (SHLD) comparable store sales have fallen roughly 12%.
Claire's has posted profit losses for the past three years. For its recent 2016 third quarter, ended Oct. 29, Claire's reported a $20.6 million, 6.2%, year-over-year decline in revenue while its same-store sales fell 1.6%.
Claire's total liquidity amounted to just $40 million at the end of its third quarter, putting it at risk of defaulting on a $76 million debt payment that comes due later this year.
In September, Claire's rid itself of $396 million in debt - and $24 million in interest expense - through a debt swap with Apollo. However, the retailer still had $2.14 billion in obligations remaining after the swap, causing Fitch Ratings to list Claire's at risk of default within the next 12 to 24 months.
Claire's operates 2,800 stores in the U.S. and hundreds of concession stands inside retailers such as Toys "R" Us.