Charming Shoppes is Getting Rid of the Bugs
Charming Shoppes Inc. has been in industry headlines lately because of all the real estate changes it is making. The women’s apparel company plans to close another 90 to 105 underperforming stores in 2012. These closures include 35 to 40 Fashion Bug stores, 35 to 40 Catherines Plus Size, and 20 to 25 Lane Bryant stores. In 2011, Charming Shoppes closed over 200 stores, the majority being under the Fashion Bug name. Two years ago at this time, there were over 800 Fashion Bug stores, there are now only 620.
Fashion Bug is the only concept of the three that does not operate outlet stores. Companies like Charming Shoppes are currently seeing more potential for growth in outlets. Fashion Bug is also the odd one out at Charming Shoppes. The company sells plus size women’s fashion, and although Fashion Bug has apparel that ranges in plus sizes, it is the only concept that sells juniors and misses sizes. In December 2011 Charming Shoppes Inc. announced plans to divest the Fashion Bug business and focus on the growth of Lane Bryant.
To keep up with apparel company changes, you can use Chain Store Guide’s databases of retail information. CSG’s Apparel Specialty Store database contains data on 5,000 companies and allows you to search on the companies that are making real estate changes. Charming Shoppes Inc. is projecting more real estate moves than just closures for this year. The company also said that it will open approximately 20 new stores including 12 Lane Bryant and eight outlet locations, relocate 25 mall locations to lifestyle and power centers, and update 40 stores.
CSG’s database of Apparel Specialty Stores contains information on location types, prices lines, and product lines along with basic company information. According to CSG’s 2012 database of Apparel Specialty Stores, Charming Shoppes Inc. operates stores in lifestyle and power centers as well as regional and community malls in all 48 contiguous states. The company closed the most recent fiscal year with a store count lower than they have in 10 years, 1857 stores.