Retailer Charlotte Russe closing all Richmond-area locations

The women’s retailer’s shop in Regency Square. (Mike Platania)

Another national retailer’s bankruptcy is having a ripple effect on Richmond storefronts, this time with three area malls losing a tenant.

Charlotte Russe, a women’s clothing chain, is going out of business and closing all of its remaining 416 stores nationwide, including its locations in Virginia Center Commons, Chesterfield Towne Center and Regency Square. Prior to filing for bankruptcy, the company operated more than 500 stores in 49 states and Puerto Rico, under the Charlotte Russe and Peek Kids brands.

Liquidation sales are underway at each local Charlotte Russe location, and all of its stores are scheduled to be closed by April 30, per a USA Today report. Its online store is already shut down.

The chain was founded in 1975, selling women’s clothing, shoes and accessories. Private equity firm Advent International Corp. purchased the brand for $380 million in 2009.

Last month, the chain was put into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Last week, a judge in Delaware approved a sale of its assets to liquidator SB360 Capital Partners.

Charlotte Russe’s leases and intellectual property are being sold separately, SB360 said.

In a statement, SB360 said that Charlotte Russe’s annual sales peaked at $986 million in 2016. CNN reported that the company’s sales dropped from $928 million in 2017 to $795 million last year, a decrease of more than 14 percent. Its current inventory is valued at $160 million.

Charlotte Russe is the latest in a line of bankrupt national retailers to shutter their local stores.

Last month, Performance Bicycle closed its lone Richmond shop in the West End, and in January, children’s retailer Gymboree announced plans to close four local stores as part of a bankruptcy that was filed in Richmond federal court.

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Michael Dodson

Bad news for the struggling area malls as VCC has sections that are just DARK (no overhead light at all in corridors inside the mall) and Regency is down to a dozen or so national (non-food) retailers. Payless stores will be gone by June. If Pennys or Forvever21 close at Regency, it is dead.

David Humphrey

More worried about VCC dying than Regency. I think the new owners f Regency are making some great moves to turn it into more of a entertainment/activity hub than the absentee owner of VCC ever will. Regency moves include the possibility of the NOVA swim facility, jump facility, climbing facility, and working towards a movie theatre. Compare that to the VCC owner that is essentially a slum lord and using the mall as a tax write off. The Regency owners are making large investment and the VCC owner doesn’t even cut the grass. Totally different situations.

Matt Faris

They’re definitely being creative. Swim Club in a mall ? Radio studio? The out-parcels have certainly been developing. The site is now a lunch option for many that don’t want to tackle the Broad Street corridor

Michael Dodson

Matt have you been inside: dull and vacant. And remember the swim club is studying the site . They have NOT signed an agreement.

It was to have a Regal movie theater too and that is not happening. And they announced several new stores inside but all I know of is CBD store.

Hope something happens but every year they talk it up while each year since 2015 more and more spaces close up.

Matt Faris
Ha! No, Michael, I haven’t. I’m afraid it would be too depressing. I’m hoping the new outside development will help spur the inside. But frankly, Regency has lasted longer than many malls. Seems like they typically survive for 30 years or so. With online shopping today, I’m doubting these big buildings will do much more than become distribution centers, but only if they’re on the interstate. They tried to pitch Cloverleaf as a data center if I recall correctly. Then, of course the county bought it out from under a church to preserve tax revenues.
Michael Dodson
Federal Realty has done wonders with Willow Lawn. They made it a partial mall in the 1980s and brought in new retailers. Made it cool again with its late 80s design and a food court. They kept it up and when it became clear indoor malls were dying they re-worked it again in 2011 taking into account the appeal of retro historic facades and open air centers to make it look more like it did in 1957. They have always brought in retailers and restaurants that are trendy and (for the most part) do really well. I wonder how many… Read more »
Cara Dickens

Michael Dodson,

As Agency of Record for many of Federal Realty’s properties, including Willow Lawn, I want to thank you for the positive comments! Federal Realty’s mission is to deliver long term, sustainable growth through investing in densely populated, affluent communities where retail demand exceeds supply. They hang their hat proudly on the evolution of Willow Lawn.

Thanks once more.

Michael Dodson

Oh I agree on VCC. I think Henrico needs to step in, make offers to buy, clear the site, and sell to developers.

Went to Spencer’s at VCC and store stocked but workers said they keep TP and paper towels to take to the bathrooms.