Women’s apparel retailer Bebe Stores Inc. said it’s closing its remaining 168 stores, the latest in a string of retailers shutting physical outlets.
The company said Friday it expects to shutter all of its brick-and-mortar locations by the end of May. The chain had previously said it was committed to closing 21 locations, which represented roughly 12 percent of its total outlets. California-based Bebe had 180 stores at the end of 2016, according to its website.
This news came as Bebe explained it was in the process of exploring strategic alternatives for its business, amid much speculation the company would transition to an online-only model.
Bebe said Friday it expects to recognize an impairment charge of approximately $20 million, net of deferred rent and other credits, as a result of closing the remainder of its stores. This impairment charge will be recorded in the third and fourth quarters of this year, according to the SEC filing.
Bebe’s stock initially fell more than 4 percent Friday morning in premarket trade on this news, after closing at $3.76 per share on Thursday. The stock opened Friday down about 1 percent.
Bebe didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Additional speculation has been swirling of late that Bebe could be one of the next retailers to join a growing list of companies that have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2017. That list includes Payless ShoeSource, which announced earlier this month it will close some 400 stores in an attempt to reorganize.