Bebe is closing all its stores by the end of May

Bebe Stores plans to close all of its locations

Bebe had 180 retail stores as of December 31, 2016 and about 2,601 employees as of July 2, 2016, according to filings.

Bebe Stores Inc. announced Friday that it will liquidate all merchandise and inventory and close all stores by the end of May 2017. Bebe had 180 locations as of January 2, according to a separate SEC filing.

Bebe joins clothing store chains The Limited and Wet Seal among the recent chains to go away.

In early April, specialty family footwear retailer Payless Shoesource said it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will close almost 400 stores in the USA and Puerto Rico.

Bebe has a total of 168 retail and outlet stores.

The company's demise, which apparently comes without a bankruptcy filing, continues a wave of implosions among national retailers, as malls face declining foot traffic. Retailers including Sears (S) and Macy's (M) are among the other large brick-and-mortar retailers also struggling with changing tastes in styles and shopping preferences.

Bebe didn't immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

Founded by CEO Manny Mashouf in San Francisco, Calif.in 1976, the store drew its name from Shakespeare's phrase, "To be, or not to be". It closed one store in the second quarter and made plans to close as many 25 bebe and outlet stores in fiscal 2017; Those plans have now expanded to include all stores.

In March, Bebe hired B. Riley & Co.as its financial advisor to explore strategic alternatives.

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