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PEMBROKE PINES, FL-Claire’s Stores is continuing to reexamine its real estate portfolio, with more store closures possible, executives said at the company’s second-quarter conference call.

The company had a goal of looking at the leases of 1,000 of its 2,000-plus company-owned portfolio this year, and has made good headway, said James G. Conroy, president. Some leases in lower-traffic malls are being renegotiated, and leases that are up for renewal are being examined particularly closely.

“We may elect to close additional stores,” he said.

Thus far this year, the company has closed 26 underperforming units, 24 of them in North America. Plans call for opening a total of 17 new stores this year. Eventual expansion likely will be in Europe.

“The store platform has been put in place for future growth,” said Conroy.

For the quarter, net sales were $314.2 million, down 12.7% from the same quarter of last year. Excluding foreign currency impacts, sales were 7.4%. Total comp store sales declined 6.9%, with North American units declining 9.9% and European comps down 1.6%.

Claire’s owns or operates 3,354 stores worldwide.

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