Claire's Stores, Inc. Announces International Expansion Into Costa Rica, Philippines And Colombia; Now Open In 44 Countries

CHICAGO, Sept. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Claire's Stores, Inc. (the "Company") is one of the world's leading specialty retailers of fashionable jewelry and accessories for young women, teens, tweens, and kids. The Company announced its recent entry into three new countries -- Philippines, Costa Rica and Colombia -- as well as new license agreements for Brazil, Scandinavia and the Balkans.

Jim Fielding, chief executive officer, stated, "We continue to identify expansion opportunities worldwide. Our franchise partners have opened stores in three new countries in 2013 and we expect to enter an additional three countries during the rest of the year. We are pleased with our progress to date and encouraged by the opportunities."

Claire's franchisee recently opened its first five stores in the Manila metropolitan area of the Philippines and plans to continue developing stores throughout the country. Within the Central and South America region, Claire's celebrated the opening of franchise stores in San Jose, Costa Rica and in Bucaramanga, Colombia marking the Company's initial entry into these two Latin American countries.

In addition to these market entries, Claire's has entered into license agreements for Brazil, Scandinavia, and three countries in the Balkans. In Brazil, the Company expects to capitalize on the continuing growth of this key emerging market as the country prepares to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. In the Scandinavia region, Claire's will be initiating its operation in Sweden, followed by openings in Norway, Finland, and Denmark. The Company will be launching stores in the Balkans, specifically in Belgrade, Serbia this year with future planned store development in Croatia and Slovenia. These initial store openings in Brazil, Sweden, and Serbia are expected to take place during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013.

Company Overview

Claire's Stores, Inc. is one of the world's leading specialty retailers of fashionable jewelry and accessories for young women, teens, tweens and girls ages 3 to 35. The Company operates through its two store concepts: Claire's® and Icing®.  As of August 3, 2013, Claire's Stores, Inc. operated 3,094 stores in North America, Europe, and China.  The Company also franchised 414 stores in 25 countries primarily located in the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia and Central and South America.  More information regarding Claire's Stores is available on the Company's corporate website at www.clairestores.com.

Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" which represent the Company's expectations or beliefs with respect to future events.  Statements that are not historical are considered forward-looking statements.  These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated.  Those factors include, without limitation: changes in consumer preferences and consumer spending; competition; our level of indebtedness; general economic conditions; general political and social conditions such as war, political unrest and terrorism; natural disasters or severe weather events; currency fluctuations and exchange rate adjustments; failure to maintain our favorable brand recognition; failure to successfully market our products through new channels, such as e-commerce; uncertainties generally associated with the specialty retailing business, such as decreases in mall traffic; disruptions in our supply of inventory; inability to increase same store sales; inability to renew, replace or enter into new store leases on favorable terms; increase in our cost of merchandise; significant increases in our merchandise markdowns; inability to grow our store base in North America, Europe or China or expand our international franchising operations; inability to design and implement new information systems; data security breaches of confidential information or other cyber attacks; delays in anticipated store openings or renovations; uncertainty that definitive financial results may differ from preliminary financial results due to, among other things, final U.S. GAAP adjustments; results from any future asset impairment analysis; changes in applicable laws, rules and regulations, including changes in North America, Europe, China or other international laws governing the sale of our merchandise, particularly regulations relating to heavy metals and chemical content in our merchandise; changes in anti-bribery laws; changes in general employment laws, including laws relating to overtime pay and employee benefits, health care laws, tax laws and import laws; product recalls; increases in the costs of healthcare for our employees; increases in the cost of labor; labor disputes; loss of key members of management; unwillingness of vendors and service providers to supply goods or services pursuant to historical customary credit arrangements; increases in the cost of borrowings; unavailability of additional debt or equity capital; and the impact of our substantial indebtedness on our operating income and our ability to grow.  These and other applicable risks, cautionary statements and factors that could cause actual results to differ from the Company's forward-looking statements are included in the Company's filings with the SEC, specifically as described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 2, 2013 filed with the SEC on April 3, 2013. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.  The historical results contained in this press release are not necessarily indicative of the future performance of the Company.

Additional Information

Other Claire's Stores, Inc. press releases, a corporate profile and the most recent Form 10-K and Form 10-Q reports are available on Claire's business website at: www.clairestores.com.

Contact Information

Leslie Loyet, Manager of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Phone: (847) 765-4610, or E-mail, leslie.loyet@claires.com

SOURCE Claire's Stores, Inc.



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