Mar. 20 Business Briefs

Claire’s, the ear-piercing mall chain, files for bankruptcy

NEW YORK (AP) — Claire’s, the mall chain that has pierced the ears of millions of teens, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The accessories chain said Monday that its stores will remain open as it restructures its debt. It’s just the latest retailer to seek bankruptcy protection, close stores or go out of business entirely as more people skip the mall and shop online. Toys R Us, for example, announced last week that it would close or sell all its stores after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year. Claire’s said it is “confident” it will emerge from bankruptcy protection in September, having reduced its debt by nearly $2 billion. It believes it can compete with the shift to online shopping, arguing that its “iconic ear piercing services are unmatched and cannot be replicated online.”

Trump Org. partner in India accused of bilking investors

NEW DELHI (AP) — An Indian company that is partnering with the Trump Organization on an office tower project outside New Delhi has been accused of running a real estate swindle that cheated investors out of nearly $150 million. Documents obtained by The Associated Press make no mention of the Trump Organization, and focus largely on two real estate deals that began years before the organization signed a 2016 agreement with IREO to partner on an office tower outside of New Delhi. Ramesh Sanka, the former CEO of the real estate firm IREO, says he saw “various acts of cheating, fraud and misappropriation of money,” creating “huge wrongful gains” for the company’s managing director and his associates.

DowDuPont to invest $50M in global Kevlar operations

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — DowDuPont Inc. says it is investing $50 million in its global operations that make Kevlar, a high-strength fiber that’s manufactured at a Virginia plant, among other locations. The investment will go toward upgrading and modernizing equipment to improve production, quality and automation. The company didn’t say how much of the $50 million would be invested at the company’s Spruance plant in Chesterfield County, Virginia. The money won’t mean additional hiring at the plant, which employs about 1,800 people. Kevlar is used in bullet-resistant vests and other protective apparel such as gloves and boots. Richard says the investment is the result of “strong demand” in global markets.