San Francisco-based women’s fashion brand Bebe is closing all of its store locations, including eight units in Canada. The company will continue operating as an online-only retailer. Bebe has signed a deal with liquidator Tiger Capital Group to sell all of its remaining inventory, and all stores will shutter before the end of May.
Bebe originally announced that it would close just 21 of its stores, following four years of losses amounting to about US $200 million. The company is reportedly mulling bankruptcy if it can’t get out of its leases.
The fashion brand was founded in 1976 by Manny Mashouf, an Iranian immigrant who has made a fortune in retail. His first Bebe location opened in San Francisco 40 years ago, and the chain grew to more than 175 stores globally. Of those, Canada is home to six full-priced Bebe stores and two Bebe outlets.
Bebe’s Canadian stores are in some of the country’s most productive malls. Locations confirmed to be closing include units at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Square One in Mississauga, CF Chinook Centre in Calgary, West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby and at CF Pacific Centre in Vancouver. All six malls ranked highly in Retail Council of Canada’s Shopping Centre Study, which also noted that these are among the country’s largest and busiest malls. Bebe outlet locations confirmed to be closing include Vaughan Mills north of Toronto, and at Outlet Collection at Niagara in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Bebe’s first Canadian store opened in the spring of 1999 in Vancouver. The 5,000 square foot, two-level store was located at 1000 Robson Street, on the southwest corner of Robson and Burrard Streets. The store closed in early 2014 and its space was demised and leased to L’Occitane en Provence and ECCO.