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Bebe store at Fashion Outlets may close

Trendy women's clothing retailer Bebe may be closing all 170 of its stores, according to a recent Bloomberg report.

Bebe's only location in Western New York is at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls. Another Bebe location, on the lower level across from Bravo at Walden Galleria, closed in 2014. There is a location over the border at the Outlet Collection at Niagara in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The San Francisco-based company is said to be shutting down its brick-and-mortar operations in favor of an online-only business model. On Wednesday, the company released a statement saying its Board of Directors is "exploring strategic alternatives" for the company. It also retained a real estate advisor to help the company explore options related to its lease holdings, it said.

Malls and stores have struggled to compete with online retailers who can undercut on price because of their less expensive overhead costs. Many stores, including Sears, Kmart, JC Penney and Macy's, have begun drastically cutting back their store counts, closing hundreds of locations. Others, such as The Limited, have closed stores altogether and turned to the same online-only concept Bebe is said to be trying.


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