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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

bebe Stores, Inc.
Industry Retail
Founded June 7, 1976; 41 years ago (1976-06-07)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Founder Manny Mashouf
Defunct 2017 (retail stores only)
Headquarters 400 Valley Drive,
Brisbane, California, U.S.
Number of locations
172 (March 2017)
Key people
Manny Mashouf, founder
Jim Wiggett, CEO
Products Apparel
Revenue Increase US$603 million (FY 2009)[1]
Increase US$16.6 million (FY 2009)[1]
Increase US$12.6 million (FY 2009)[1]
Total assets Decrease US$571 million (FY 2009)[2]
Total equity Decrease US$459 million (FY 2009)[2]
Number of employees
4,433 (2008)

Bebe Stores, Inc. (stylized as "bebe"; pronunciation: /bb/),[3] is a women's retail brand that was established in 1976. The brand develops and produces a line of women's apparel, accessories, and perfume fragrances, which it markets under the Bebe, BebeSport, and Bebe Outlet names.

On April 21, 2017, bebe announced it would close its remaining 168 brick-and-mortar locations to sell products online.[4]

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The company was founded by Manny Mashouf in 1976, who emigrated from Iran to the United States in the early 1970s, where he opened the first bebe store in San Francisco[5] during a time when three categories dominated the women's wear market: junior, bridge and misses.[citation needed]

The name "bebe" (pronounced "Bee-Bee") is a portmanteau derived from the soliloquy from Shakespeare's play Hamlet in which the eponymous Prince ponders: "To be or not to be."[6] The name is never capitalized, as it is a combination of two verbs forming a metaphorical verb as whole. Founder Manny Mashouf came up with the name after a conversation at a party he attended in San Francisco during the 1970s shortly before he established the brand.

Mashouf owns approximately 55% of the company.[7] It was announced in 2015 that Mashouf was to sell his 59% stake in bebe.[8]

In 2016, a Telephone Consumer Protection Act class action lawsuit was filed against Bebe Stores, Inc. The plaintiff sought to certify a nationwide class consisting of all people who provided their cell phone numbers to bebe at one of its brick-and-mortar stores and subsequently received text messages from bebe at any point from January 2010 through the present.[citation needed]

In March 2017, bebe announced that it would close all stores in 2017, and become an online-only retailer.[9] The brand will provide worldwide shipping.


 Bebe stores headquarters in Brisbane
Bebe stores headquarters in Brisbane

The company operates 312 stores, of which 215 are bebe stores, 32 are 2b Bebe stores, 64 are BebeSport stores (this includes bebe/bebeSport 2-in-1 stores) and one is a Bebe accessories store. These are located in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada. Bebe also has international divisions in Lebanon, Kuwait, Egypt, Israel, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey, and UAE.

The first store was opened in San Francisco in 1976 as bebe. The company launched BebeSport in year 2003 to focus on active lifestyle by means of sportswear, tops, sweaters, outerwear, and accessories. In 2009, BebeSport stores were converted to PH8, with BebeSport product now sold in bebe and 2b Bebe stores. The company converted BebeSport stores to PH8 stores in November 2009. PH8 offers casual weekend apparel, work-out attire and accessories such as bags, shoes and seasonal items.[citation needed] Bebe's outlet division 2b Bebe provided clearance merchandise, logo merchandise and special cuts produced under the 2b Bebe label exclusively for the outlet stores.[10]

In 2012, bebe launched a bridal wear line which was available in stores throughout the United States. The line debuted with a collection designed by Project Runway runner up Rami Kashou.[11] Additional bridal salons were under consideration; however, the business venture was eventually ditched due to poor sales.

On April 21, 2017, bebe made an announcement that it would close its remaining 168 brick-and-mortar locations. The company said it expected to incur losses in sales with the closures, but did not disclose the estimate.[4]


To further brand exposure, the company signs celebrities for ad campaigns. Brenda Song was the face of bebe's 2007 ad campaign. The company signed actresses Rebecca Romijn as the face of bebe from spring 2007 through spring 2008 and Eva Longoria as the face of BebeSport from spring 2007 through spring 2009.[10] Mischa Barton was the face of bebe's 2006 ad campaign.

In 2007, bebe selected advertising agency MD70,[12] with creative direction by Fredrik Peterhoff[13] to produce Bebe Holiday, Bebe Sports, and Bebe Accessories' spring 2009 campaigns.[14] Photographed by Camilla Åkrans, styled by Julia von Boehm and shot in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, the bebe spring campaign featured model Anne Marie van Dijk. The campaign appeared in the February and March titissuesles of Vogue, Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour, as well as on billboards and phone kiosks in New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. A campaign video ran in stores and online on the bebe YouTube channel.


Bebe has semi-annual collection preview events where clients are invited to preview the latest collections at bebe stores. The company partners with national and regional magazines to host events benefiting non-profit organizations.[15]

Design and manufacturing

The company designs and develops the majority of merchandise in-house with outsourced manufacturing.


On August 9, 2010, Emilia Fabricant became president of Bebe Stores. She reported directly to CEO Manny Mashouf and her core responsibilities included oversight of design, marketing, merchandising, Internet sales, production, and retail planning. In 2012 she left to take a position at Aéropostale. Mashouf decided to take a lesser role as a non-executive chairman and hired Steve Birkhold as CEO. Birkhold has extensive experience in retail as US CEO of Diesel Jeans and CEO of Lacoste.[16] Upon Birkhold's resignation in June 2014, the board of directors appointed Jim Wiggett, currently Chief Executive Officer of Jackson Hole Group, as Interim Chief Executive Officer of bebe. On December 15, 2014, bebe announced that Wiggett had been named Chief Executive Officer and appointed to the company's board of directors, effective immediately.[17]


External links

This page was last edited on 11 January 2018, at 13:42.
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