Mall-based retail chain Claire's more than doubled online sales in 2020 with omnichannel options for fulfillment and a cadre of loyalty shoppers.

Claire’s Holdings LLC, the retail chain where legions of pre-teens and teenagers got their first piercings and earrings, filed to go public in the U.S. on Wednesday.

The Illinois-based company in its filing Wednesday listed the size of the offering as $100 million, a placeholder that will change when terms of the share sale are set. Claire’s is No. 585 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000.

Claire’s is hoping to sell investors on its coming-of-age story the way it did with customers. It said in its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it has “a powerful following with the highly influential Generation Z audience, which consists of over 2.5 billion individuals globally.”

In the filing, the company said it planned to expand its online presence by expanding internationally through the marketplace Inc. (No. 1), expand omnichannel offerings like buy online, pick up in store, and an increased focus on its loyalty program. Customers of that loyalty program generate more than half of the company’s U.S. revenue.

Claire’s grew ecommerce revenue 112% in 2020 over 2019, according to the filing, but the fashion jeweler did not break out exact figures. Web sales of jewelry-focused retailers in the Top 1000 grew 28.7% altogether last year.


Activist investor Paul Singer’s Elliott International, Monarch Alternative Capital, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are listed as major shareholders, according to the filing.

The company reported a net loss of $144 million on revenue of $356 million for the three months ended July 31, compared with a loss of $38 million on revenue of $184 million during the equivalent period last year.

As of July, the company had more than 1,500 stores in North America and more than 880 in Europe. It also operates in more than 10,000 concessions globally across approximately 25 retail partners.


Known for its low-cost ear-piercing service, the company plans to expand into nose piercings, which are currently offered only in some stores in the U.K., Germany and Canada.

Claire’s emerged from bankruptcy in 2018 after struggling for years with the debt it piled on from a 2007 leveraged buyout by Apollo Global Management Inc. The bankruptcy eliminated the vast majority of about $2.1 billion in debt. Like other chains with a heavy shopping mall presence, Claire’s has faced declining customer traffic and online competition.

Goldman Sachs, Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley are leading the offering. The company plans to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CLRS.