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CEO of Claire’s Stores resigns; replaced by industry vet


Beatrice Lafon, the CEO of teen accessories retailer Claire's Stores, has resigned and been replaced by a current member of the board, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Ron Marshall, a member of the Claire’s board since December 2007, was named the new CEO, the Chicago Tribune reported. Marshall served as CEO and president of The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P) from February 2010 through July 2010. Prior to that, from January 2009 until January 2010, he was CEO of Borders Group Inc., operators of the now defunct Borders bookstore chain.

From 1998 to 2006, he was CEO of food distributor Nash Finch. Most recently, from 2006 to the present, he has been owner of Wildridge Capital Management.

Lafon, who was named CEO in 2014, also quit the Claire’s board. She previously served as president of Claire's Europe from October 2011 to March 2014.

Claire’s is controlled by private equity firm Apollo Global Management. The chain has struggled in recent years, it had sales of $1.4 billion in its most recent year, compared with $1.49 billion the previous year. Losses grew to $236.4 million, compared to a $212 million loss the previous year.

As of January 30, 2016, the retailer operated 1,741 stores in North America (under the Claire’s and Icing banners) and 1,126 stores in Europe, in addition to franchised and concession locations.

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