Charming Charlie Closing all US Stores

There are no signs out front of the Charming Charlie in West Hartford to show anything's changed, the news has still spread fast. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and signaled in paperwork filed in bankruptcy court that it'll close all 261 stores.

There are four of the stores in Connecticut according to the Charming Charlie website: West Hartford, Plainville, South Windsor, and Guilford.

"I personally never shopped at the store. It was never really something for me," said West Hartford resident Sofia Maricevic.

"I know they've gone bankrupt before, so I'm not really that surprised. I personally hadn't gone in the store in years," said West Hartford resident Libby Phillips.

During that previous Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in 2017, the company closed around 100 stores but wrote in court paperwork that it simply wasn't enough, indicating the business has $50,000 or less in assets with debts totaling between $50 million to $100 million.

"I think it's unfortunate because it's a very nice store," said West Hartford resident Sarah Ryor.

"I just hate to see another store closing," said West Hartford resident Clare Ryor.

In documents, the company is looking to complete liquidation sales and close all stores by the end of August. Charming Charlie currently has more than 3,000 employees. It cites multiple reasons for the Chapter 11 filing including "significant headwinds given the continued decline of the brick-and-mortar retail industry."

People who spoke with NBC Connecticut say they're sad to see physical stores close and add that while online shopping is convenient, there's still value in heading out to shop too.

"I like to shop online, but quite honestly, I prefer to come in to a store," said Sarah Ryor. "So that's a loss for me."

The company estimates it has about $20 million in outstanding gift cards and in court paperwork asked to continue to be able to honor all gift cards for the next 30 days. We reached out to the company for comment but have not heard back.

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