Founded in 1961 as Fashion Tress Industries, the company was renamed Claire’s in 1973 after focus shifted to fashion jewelry on acquiring a chain of jewelry stores operating under the same name. Ear-piercing services were initiated in 1978. Expansion into the United States continued through the 1980s. The Japanese chain of 16 stores owned by Tokakapi was acquired in 1989. Bow Bangles with 71 stores was acquired in 1995. Acquisitions continued with the company taking over The Icing with its 85 stores, Accessory Place with 31 stores, Afterthoughts, Cleopatre, and Bijoux One until 1999. The website Claires.com was launched in 2001. The company was traded publicly in 2005 but was turned into a private entity when Apollo Global Management successfully converted a $3.1 billion buyout in its favor. By 2008, activities in Europe were consolidated into a single group based in Birmingham. E-commerce activities in the United States were started in 2011. The company is recognized as one of the world’s leading fashion jewelry retailers catering to girls and women in the age group of 3 to 35 years. As of May 2, 2015, the company has 2,983 regular stores in 17 countries covering North America and Europe. Around 443 franchise stores are located in 30 countries. A total of 219 concession store-in-store locations are also established.
Claire's operates under the brand names of Icing and Claire’s. A wide selection of products is offered to girls and women covering all sorts of activities. Over 90% products are listed as proprietary items. The Claire’s brand name is operational in 46 countries through company stores and other avenues targeting girls aged between 3 to 18 years, while Icing is a subsidiary brand operational mostly in North America via company stores and franchises, serving women between 18 to 35 years. Women can shop for jewelry in sterling silver, buy toe and ankle rings, and opt for body jewelry including nose hoops and navel rings. Exclusive online selections of accessories covering footwear, bags, and suspenders are covered. Customers can opt for items under innovative categories like Best Friends Accessories and Jewelry Storage. Hairbands, braided hair, and styling tools are priced between $5 and $20 per piece. Claire’s Club carries tiaras, favorite characters, and special occasion gifts all priced between $5 and $20 per piece. Popstar and character brands are endorsed. The company has created interesting segments like Online Exclusives offering apparel, room decor, and accessories. Stars & Stripes create the Americana culture with hats, jewelry and other items.
What makes Claire's unique?
Claire’s Beanie Boos has a massive collection of dolls for girls. Fest Friends has a collection of 119 items connecting girls with friendship bands, mother and daughter with lookalike bracelets. As the name suggests, $5 And Under has hot fashion items all priced under 5 dollars. Sports accessories like head wraps and sports bags cover different sports including soccer and dance. The company is considered one of the world’s leading ear-piercing specialists having pierced over 90 million ears. Several options like stainless steel/titanium, 14-karat gold, 14-karat white gold birthstone, Kate Perry, 24-karat gold plated, and Claire's Exclusive starter kits are available.