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Claire's Stores Appoints Linda Hefner Filler As President, North America, And Announces Other Recent Global Executive Appointments

CHICAGO, Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Claire's Stores, Inc., one of the world's leading specialty retailers of fashionable jewelry and accessories at affordable prices for young women, teens, tweens and kids, today announced that Linda Hefner Filler has been appointed as President of Claire's North America, reporting to Jim Fielding, Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Hefner Filler will assume the President position on March 1, 2013.  The Company also announced two other recent global executive appointments.

In her role as President, Ms. Hefner Filler will be responsible for all operational and strategic initiatives for the Claire's business in the approximately 1,500 Claire's stores in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  Her responsibilities will encompass implementing enhancements to our Claire's store design to improve the in-store shopping experience for our customers, building on the strengths of our Claire's brand, and expanding our E-Commerce reach and business.

Ms. Hefner Filler joins Claire's from the Wal-Mart Corporation, where she served most recently as Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer for Sam's Club.  Prior to that role, she served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Wal-Mart Stores Home Division for three years.  Prior to Wal-Mart, Ms. Hefner Filler served in a variety of key executive roles at Kraft Foods and Sara Lee Corporation.  At Kraft, she was the Executive Vice President for Global Strategy.  At Sara Lee, she rose through the ranks of The Hanes brand, ultimately serving as Group CEO for the Hanes underwear and sock group.

Jim Fielding, CEO of Claire's Stores, Inc., commented, "Linda's experience and expertise in the areas of retail operations, strategic planning, brand management and business analysis will serve her well in her new role.  She is known for her ability to build and lead talented teams toward a common vision.  I am excited to add a talent of her caliber to our Senior Executive team.  She is an inspirational leader and communicator, and I look forward to working with her in this new role to drive the North American Claire's business."

In addition to the appointment of Ms. Hefner Filler, the Company also announced the appointment of two other key global executives.

Holly Cohen joined the Company in early January in the role of Senior Vice President, Global Real Estate & Construction, reporting to Per Brodin, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Claire's.  Ms. Cohen will lead all real estate, strategy and operations, global store design, and store construction operations.  Prior to Claire's, Ms. Cohen served in a similar role at J. Crew and has extensive prior experience at Gap, Inc.

Peter Collyer will join the Company in mid-February in the role of Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources, reporting directly to Jim Fielding, CEO.  Mr. Collyer will lead all Human Resources functions and priorities globally.  Prior to Claire's, Mr. Collyer worked for the Walt Disney Company Consumer Products division in various positions in London and California, including leading Human Resources for Disney Stores Worldwide. 

Jim Fielding commented further, "We've conducted a nationwide search for all of these executives, and I am excited by the caliber and experience of these new additions to our executive team.  They possess excellent leadership, management and communication skills and will each play a critical role in continuing our growth trajectory and meeting our company objectives.  Their presence rounds out a truly talented executive management team.  I look forward to working with all of them and the entire team to maximize our business around the world."

Company Overview

Claire's Stores, Inc. is one of the world's leading specialty retailers of fashionable jewelry and accessories at affordable prices for young women, teens, tweens and girls ages 3 to 27.  The Company operates through its two store concepts: Claire's® and Icing®.  As of February 2, 2013, Claire's Stores, Inc. operated 3,085 stores in North America, Europe, and China.  The Company also franchised or licensed 392 stores in Japan, the Middle East, Turkey, Greece, Guatemala, Malta, Ukraine, Mexico, India, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Venezuela, Panama, Honduras and Indonesia. More information regarding Claire's Stores is available on the Company's corporate website at http://www.clairestores.com.

Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" which represent the Company's expectations or beliefs with respect to future events.  Statements that are not historical are considered forward-looking statements.  These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated.  Those factors include, without limitation: changes in consumer preferences and consumer spending; competition; our level of indebtedness; general economic conditions; general political and social conditions such as war, political unrest and terrorism; natural disasters or severe weather events; currency fluctuations and exchange rate adjustments; uncertainties generally associated with the specialty retailing business, such as decreases in mall traffic due to high gasoline prices or other general economic conditions; disruptions in our supply of inventory; inability to increase same store sales; inability to renew, replace or enter into new store leases on favorable terms; increase in our cost of merchandise; significant increases in our merchandise markdowns; inability to grow our store base in Europe or expand our international franchising operations; inability to design and implement new information systems or disruptions in adapting our information systems to allow for expansion into new geographic markets or grow our e-commerce sales; delays in anticipated store openings or renovations; uncertainty that definitive financial results may differ from preliminary financial results due to, among other things, final U.S. GAAP adjustments; results from any future asset impairment analysis; changes in applicable laws, rules and regulations, including changes in federal, state or local regulations governing the sale of our merchandise, particularly regulations relating to the content in our merchandise, general employment laws, including laws relating to overtime pay and employee benefits, health care laws, tax laws and import laws; product recalls; data or security breaches of confidential information; loss of key members of management; increases in the cost of labor; labor disputes; unwillingness of vendors and service providers to supply goods or services pursuant to historical customary credit arrangements; increases in the cost of borrowings; unavailability of additional debt or equity capital; and the impact of our substantial indebtedness on our operating income and our ability to grow.  These and other applicable risks, cautionary statements and factors that could cause actual results to differ from the Company's forward-looking statements are included in the Company's filings with the SEC, specifically as described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 28, 2012 filed with the SEC on April 4, 2012.  The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.  The historical results contained in this press release are not necessarily indicative of the future performance of the Company.

Additional Information

Note:  Other Claire's Stores, Inc. press releases, a corporate profile and the most recent Form 10-K and Form 10-Q reports are available on Claire's business website at: http://www.clairestores.com.

Contact Information
J. Per Brodin, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (847) 765-1100, or E-mail, investor.relations@claires.com

SOURCE Claire's Stores, Inc.

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