Charming Charlie, best known for arranging stores by color versus style, has been a leading retailer for women’s apparel, footwear, and accessories since 2004. Consumers in 41 states and several countries could browse by their favorite colors, finding unique and fashion-forward bargains to add to their wardrobe. After 15 years of operation, executives for the chain announced they would be liquidating the company’s assets and closing the remaining 261 stores.

Photo by Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)

According to historical analysis, the company was doing well until the last several years when sales suddenly dropped. In 2018 it filed for bankruptcy and closed 100 stores in hopes of rearranging its business model to cut debts and earn more revenue. A spokesperson for the company said last week Charming Charlie faced “unsustainable operating expenses, including onerous leases,” which lead to the decision to close all remaining locations. Going out of business sales have already begun, and the retailer expects to be entirely closed by August 31.

No longer able to compete with the online retail market, and skyrocketing leasing prices, Charming Charlie has now been added to the list of stores closing in 2019. Though the media coverage sounds bleak, a quick search using CSG’s Apparel Specialty Stores database found over 2,000 companies which sell similar products. Charming Charlie is trending on Twitter with consumers lamenting their need for colorful accessories and fun and trendy wardrobe options, showing that demand for its products is still high. Although we continue to hear about retail chains closing, the brick-and-mortar retail market is still a viable revenue source.