Bebe will close all stores in May

Retailer Bebe will close all of its stores by the end of May, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Brisbane-based chain has a total of 168 retail and outlet stores as of March, including Orange County locations in Brea, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach and Santa Ana.

Bebe has hired consultants to help sell off the merchandise in the company’s stores.

In April, Bebe announced plans to lay off roughly 700 employees in California, effective May 27.

The company planned to close its stores and focus on online sales, according to Bloomberg. This week’s SEC filing did not mention online sales.

The company did not immediately return requests for comment.

Changes in retail

Retailers have struggled with changing consumer habits–a shift to online shopping and fewer visits to the mall.

Earlier this month bankrupt Payless ShoeSource announced it would close at least 400 stores in the U.S., including eight in Orange County.

In March, RadioShack announced plans to close 552 stores, including two in Orange County.

Irvine-based Wet Seal filed for bankruptcy protection in February for the second time in a handful of years.

The teen retailer was founded by Lorne Huycke in Newport Beach in 1962. It had 171 stores, all of which are closing. Its intellectual property was bought for $3 million by Boston-based investment firm Gordon Brothers Brands.

Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California’s reorganization plan was approved in September. PacSun gave its stock to affiliates of private…

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