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Charming Shoppes Announces Cost-Cutting Plan

Bensalem, Pa. Charming Shoppes Inc. Tuesday outlined a cost-cutting plan that includes closing stores and ending the Lane Bryant catalog.

The company said it began a restructuring plan with management consultants A.T. Kearney in an effort to save $100 million to $125 million over the next two fiscal years, with $75 million in savings occurring in fiscal 2010.

As part of the plan, Charming Shoppes will discontinue the Lane Bryant Woman catalog. The company recorded pretax charges of about $4.2 million associated with inventory write-downs and a pretax cost related to severance of $1.2 million from the move.

In addition, the company will close up to 100 stores in fiscal 2010, in addition to the 150 stores it plans to close during the current fiscal year.

Charming Shoppes also said it was working with management-consulting firm Kurt Salmon Associates to increase the amount of clothes it designs and sources internally to improve the clothing assortment at its stores.

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