A Bebe store front.


Brisbane, Calif.-based retailer Bebe Stores Inc. warned the California Employment Development Department of some 717 layoffs in the state. The cuts are effective May 27, the company said in its notice.

Among the cuts are 136 at the Brisbane headquarters and 160 at the Los Angeles design office. The retailer also reported layoffs at 35 stores including Brea, Cabazon, Camarillo, Torrance, San Diego, Newport Beach and San Francisco.

Bebe is the latest in a string of companies that have either been forced to rationalize their real estate portfolio in the case of companies such as Macy’s or restructure through bankruptcy, as was the case for American Apparel, Wet Seal, Nasty Gal, The Limited and more recently BCBG Max Azria.

Bebe confirmed last week in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it would shutter 21 stores at a cost of $9.4 million in impairment charges and landlord termination payments. The company also said in the filing that it was “continuing to explore options with respect to its remaining stores.” Store employees confirmed to WWD at the time that plans called for the closing of all of the retailer’s doors.

In March, Bebe said it hired B. Riley & Co. to explore strategic alternatives along with a real estate firm to look at its portfolio of stores.

Last year Bebe struck a deal with Bluestar Alliance LLC whereby the retailer put up its intellectual property and Bluestar injected $35 million into a joint venture.

Bebe last reported 134 stores along with 34 outlets in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada.

The company’s shares closed up about 1.5 percent Tuesday to $4.08 for a market value of about $33 million.

For More Coverage of Bebe in WWD:

Bebe’s Closure of 21 Stores to Cost $9.4M

Bebe Shares Drop 44.5% on Store Closing Rumblings

Bebe in Reorganization Mode

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