Claire's Stores, Inc. is a leading specialty retailer of value-priced jewelry and accessories for girls and young women through its two store concepts: Claire's (North America and Europe) and Icing.
In 1961 a predecessor to Claire's, Fashion Tress, Inc. went public in over the counter trading. In 1973 the name was changed to FT Industries, Inc. when the former Chairman Emeritus, Rowland Schaefer, bought Claire's Boutiques, Inc. which operated 60 stores in the Chicago area. In 1983, the Company's name changed again, this time to Claire's Stores, Inc. The Common Stock was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1985 and began trading under the ticker symbol of CLE.
The Company traces its beginnings to Rowland Schaefer, who established Fashion Tress, Inc., a manufacturer of wigs and accessories distributed worldwide. In the early 1980's, Mr. Schaefer set new strategic directions by divesting the business of capital-intensive manufacturing businesses in favor of the specialty retailing of women's fashion accessories. In the 90's, the emphasis of Claire's Stores shifted to value-priced jewelry and accessories for girls and young women.
After decades of steady growth Claire's Stores undertook a review of strategic alternatives which ultimately led to the Company being sold to Apollo Management VI, L.P. and certain affiliated co-investment partnerships on May 29, 2007.
Merchandising and marketing practices reinforce our position as the accessory headquarters for our customers. A steady flow of new merchandise into our stores is key to their freshness and appeal, since many of our customers shop frequently. This freshness is attained through constant product testing and fast placement of successful test items in all departments. Prime sourcing in the Far East and our efficient distribution systems worldwide make quick response to "what's new" in merchandise both possible and profitable. Our Hoffman Estates, Illinois distribution center efficiently ships merchandise to North American stores on a daily basis with merchandise being received into the distribution center and shipped out again that same day!