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updated: 12/13/2017 9:35 AM

Charming Charlie files for bankruptcy, plans to close stores

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  • Charming Charlie plans to close six stores in Illinois. The Algonquin store, though. will remain open.

    Charming Charlie plans to close six stores in Illinois. The Algonquin store, though. will remain open.
    Daily Herald File Photo


Jewelry and accessories chain Charming Charlie, known for its color-coordinated displays, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and plans to close several of its roughly 375 stores.

While company officials would not officially say which stores are closing, store employees said they were told six Illinois stores are on the list, including those in Kildeer, Lombard, Mount Prospect, South Barrington, Vernon Hills and Wheaton.

The company has more than a dozen area stores that will remain in operation, including at Woodfield, Algonquin, Geneva, Aurora, Gurnee, Bolingbrook, Chicago and Orland Park.

The Houston-based retailer said it has entered a restructuring support agreement with most of its lenders and shareholders. Through the agreement, the company aims to overhaul its capital structure and close an undisclosed number of underperforming stores.

The company said this month it will also close its Los Angeles office and reduce the head count in its Houston corporate support center and distribution center. These changes will allow Charming Charlie to simplify its business operations, improve liquidity, and focus efforts on the core strengths that make the company successful, the company said in a statement.

"By reducing the size and scale of our operations, we have the opportunity to stabilize the business. We also will be better equipped to read and react to trends and what our customers want, which had been the hallmark of our success. It's what we are referring to as our back-to-basics strategy," said Lana Krauter, who was named the company's interim chief executive officer.

Houston multimillionaire and entrepreneur Charlie Chanaratsopon, who founded the company in 2004, stepped down as CEO this fall.