Some 162 employees working at Charlotte Russe’s corporate headquarters in the Mission District will soon lose their jobs as a result of the company’s bankruptcy filed in early February.
The office, at 575 Florida St., is slated to close April 5. This closure is anticipated to be permanent.
The mass layoff comes as the women’s clothing company winds down 94 of its 500-odd countrywide locations. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on Feb. 3. It notified city officials of a “plant closure/mass layoff” one day later, as required by California law.
The departing employees working out of the company’s headquarters are many of its high-level executives, including its chief financial officer, chief technology officer, the director of planning, and the director of people (who, in fact, wrote the letter to the city divulging this pending closure).
Company CEO Jenny Ming, a San Francisco native, is not listed among those that will be “affected” by the layoffs.
Aside from its office on Florida Street, the purveyor of women’s apparel currently has two stores in the Bay Area — one in Daly City and another in San Bruno. The former is set to close before spring.
The downward spiral of Charlotte Russe is only one example of a nationwide trend of distressed retailers being acquired by large private equity firms, and then subsequently going kaput — very much like Toys ‘R’ Us, which filed for bankruptcy in October.
In 2009, the private equity firm Advent International bought Charlotte Russe for $380 million. Yet over the decade-long period, the retail chain was not able to significantly reduce its debt load of $240 million. It experienced a glimmer of relief last year when a restructuring allowed it to reduce that figure to $90 million.
That, apparently, was not enough to stay the course.
Multiple calls to the headquarters were not immediately returned.