We visited a Charlotte Russe store the day after the company filed to liquidate, and it's clear the retail apocalypse is in full swing

Business Insider/Mary HanburyA Charlotte Russe store closing sale.
  • Charlotte Russe filed to liquidate its assets on Wednesday and said it would close its remaining 416 namesake stores and 10 Peek Kids stores.
  • The mall-based retailer, which is primarily geared toward young women, previously filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February and said at the time that it would close 94 stores.
  • We visited its only store in Manhattan, which was part of the first wave of store closures. Here’s what we found.

The end is nigh for Charlotte Russe.

The mall-based retailer, which is primarily geared toward young women, filed to liquidate its assets on Wednesday and announced it would be closing all of its stores. It previously filed for bankruptcy protection in February and at the time said it would close 94 stores.


Read more:
More than 5,300 stores are closing in 2019 as the retail apocalypse drags on – here’s the full list

We visited Charlotte Russe’s only Manhattan store on Thursday to see how the liquidation sales were unfolding. This store was part of the initial wave of store closures announced in February, so the sales were well underway.

A sales assistant could not confirm when the store would be shuttering for good. However, the company said in a bankruptcy court filing on Wednesday that liquidation sales at all its stores would run through April 30.

Here’s what we found:


Large signs in the window made it immediately obvious that the entire store was on sale.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

Clothing racks were marked with large signs informing customers of the 40% to 60% discounts.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

Signs saying “NOTHING HELD BACK” screamed out to customers.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

The entire store was on sale.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

You could pick up a sweater for as little as $US4.99.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

The store was also selling off old marketing images.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

Charlotte Russe has come under pressure as so-called ultra-fast-fashion stores such as Fashion Nova and Boohoo have entered the market and churned out cheap and trendy clothing.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

Charlotte Russe has struggled for some time as its debt has mounted. Last year, it trimmed its debt load from $US214 million to $US90 million in a restructuring deal.


And it has been unable to keep up. While the store is neatly presented, the shopping experience isn’t exciting enough to lure customers offline.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

Next, we headed upstairs where reality bites.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

Only a month ago, this floor was rammed full of clothing.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

Read more: Charlotte Russe is closing all of its stores. We visited the retailer the day it filed it for bankruptcy and saw how it’s fallen behind its fast-fashion rivals.


Now, clothing racks have been replaced by a heavily depleted shoe department.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

The store was also selling off fixtures and fittings.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

And at the back of the store, mannequins were lined up for sale …

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

The retail apocalypse is in full swing.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

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