Ascena Retail completes purchase of Charming Shoppes; to shutter Fashion Bug

Suffern, N.Y. -- Ascena Retail Group on Friday said that it has completed its acquisition of Charming Shoppes. The company also announced that it plans to cease operating and close down Charming Shoppes’ Fashion Bug business by early 2013, and is exploring a potential sale of Charming Shoppes’ Figi’s business, which markets food and specialty gift products.

In 2011, Charming Shoppes closed 124 Fashion Bug stores. The chain had previously announced its intention to continue to close certain Fashion Bug stores.

Charming Shoppes, whose banners include Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, and Catherines Plus Sizes, will operate as a separate subsidiary of Ascena. The combined company now operates approximately 3,800 locations and, on a trailing 12 month basis, generated over $4.4 billion of combined net sales.

“We believe that we have a significant opportunity to fully realize the significant potential of this business,” said David Jaffe, president and CEO of Ascena. “The Lane Bryant and Catherine’s businesses are extremely complementary to our other concepts and we expect them to integrate seamlessly. Though this process will take time, we believe there is an excellent opportunity to streamline the business, capture efficiencies and to share resources.”

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