Bebe to layoff 700 employees

As Bebe Stores Inc. continues to sink, the company has announced plans for hundreds of layoffs in both its corporate and retail spheres.

Following announcements of Bebe Stores' financial woes and plans to cut retail costs, Bebe has announced its plans to release over 700 employees, 400 on the retail side.

The layoffs are hitting hard, both at the Bay Area headquarters in Brisbane, CA and also in LA's design office.

136 workers at headquarters and 160 in design will be let go according to the mandatory filing with the Department of Employment last month.

As Fashion Network previously reported, Bebe disclosed plans to refocus business to ecommerce. Putting these plans into play, the company has now announced plans to let go over 400 employees effective May 27, 2017.

The retail employee cuts hit 35 California cities from San Diego north up the coast and inland.

Cuts at retail come as no surprise as Bebe announced last month its intention to close brick and mortar stores. The brand has been reporting losses for the past five years in the amount of over $220 million, despite selling half of its ownership to brand management firm Bluestar Alliance last year.

If it seems like this is another tale of retail struggling in the face of rising ecommerce competitors, it is - since last year, industry statistics show over 89,000 retail workers have been laid off. The retail industry is suffering as it is forced to come up with a modern strategy to take on the marketplace. Bankruptcy has hit other California brands, notably American Apparel, BCBG Max Azria and Wet Seal.

For a brand like Bebe, the industry climate and financial realities mean they are looking at doing everything they can to avoid bankruptcy.

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