Charming Charlie to close

Charming Charlie, a jewelry and accessory store, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month and has plans to close all of its 261 stores, including the location at Charlottesville Fashion Square mall.

As Charlottesville Fashion Square’s parent company prepares to possibly transition the mall to lenders, more stores are holding going-out-of-business sales or have closed in recent months.

Charming Charlie, a jewelry and accessory store, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month and has plans to close all of its 261 stores, including the location at Fashion Square.

The store has become the fifth at the Albemarle County mall since December to declare bankruptcy and ultimately close, joining Sears Holdings, Charlotte Russe, Crazy 8 and Payless ShoeSource.

Clarks, Regis Hairstylists, Go! Calendars, Games & Toys and Bare Minerals also have closed in recent months.

Parent companies of Gap, Victoria’s Secret, JC Penney and Foot Locker also have said they will close stores this year. All have locations in Fashion Square, though it is not yet known whether any of the stores would close locally.

Earlier this year, Washington Prime Group, the mall’s parent company, reclassified Fashion Square from a Tier II property to a non-core property.

In its second-quarter report, released Thursday, the company said the mortgage loan that encumbers Fashion Square was identified as one of four consolidated mortgage loans that the company plans to work with special servicers on.

“We expect to improve our leverage once all, or a portion of them, are transitioned to the lenders, with minimal impact to net cash flows,” the report said.

Another one of the properties listed, Towne West Square in Wichita, Kansas, was sold earlier this month for $14 million to Kohan Retail Investment Group, according to The Wichita Eagle. Kohan Retail Investment Group acquired Virginia Center Commons in Henrico County in 2017.

“We also expect by the end of the year to transition back our West Ridge Mall and Plaza properties together with $50 million of secured mortgage debt,” Mark Yale, executive vice president and CFO at Washington Prime Group, said in the conference call.

Fashion Square and other non-core properties were not mentioned specifically in the call.

There are some bright spots, however, as Bath and Body Works recently opened a newly remodeled store at the mall.

Allison Wrabel is a reporter for The Daily Progress. Contact her at (434) 978-7261, awrabel@dailyprogress.com or @craftypanda on Twitter.

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