Claire’s is a must-have for teen ear piercing, as well as jewelry and accessories. Since 1961, it has grown primarily with mall-based stores, including stores still operating locally at Dayton Mall, Fairfield Commons, and Miami Valley Center Mall.
The company went through difficult years declaring bankruptcy, from which it exited in 2018. Then three years later, in September, the company filed a first public offering.
The upcoming Troy-based Walmart store is part of larger plans to add approximately 180 “store-in-store” locations in fiscal 2021, according to a September SEC filing from Claire’s.
Kelly Gray, vice president of Equity, which has expertise in the Dayton area retailing, said there are many retailers interested in similar deals, who are outsourcing some of the work. Walmart already has many of these arrangements, such as restaurants and nail salons that operate in stalls at the front of the building.
“We’re just seeing a lot of retailers who may be looking to outsource some of the work,” she said.
Other shopping center brands are also working on this type of change. Ulta Beauty has a partnership with Target. Sephora has just opened its first series of stores inside Kohl’s.
“There is a trend in cobranding going on,” said Loren DeFilippo is the research director for Colliers Ohio Markets.
During that same period, Claire’s plans to add around 35 stand-alone stores, mostly outside of malls.
This includes a new upcoming store in Huber Heights, with a county building permit filed on August 16, which the city says relates to a storefront in the Northpark mall. The location is where Yankee Candle had closed.
Approximately 1/3 of Claire’s stores in North America were located outside of malls as of July 31.
Claire’s wrote in the SEC filing that one of the risks she faces is the decline in the number of people who visit traditional malls, where the majority of their stores are still located.
The retailer said sales volume and traffic will likely be affected by “economic downturns in a particular region, competition from non-shopping retailers (including e-commerce companies) and other shopping centers where we have no stores and anchor tenants closing in a particular mall.