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Apparel chain Bebe Stores to explore strategic alternatives

Apparel retailer Bebe Stores Inc said it is exploring strategic alternatives following four years of losses, sending the shares of the company up about 16 percent after market.

The company, which has a market cap of about $29 million, said on Wednesday it has retained B. Riley & Co as its financial adviser.

Bebe Stores also engaged a real estate adviser to help decide on options related to its lease holdings.

The fashion store, which in 2010 hosted a limited edition Kardashian fashion line, is planning to shut stores and seek a turnaround as an online brand to avoid filing for bankruptcy, Bloomberg had reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the situation.