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Charming Shoppes to sell off Fashion Bug, add 125 Lane Bryant stores

Bensalem, Pa. -- Charming Shoppes reported Thursday that its loss in the 3Q narrowed to $13 million from a loss of $18.8 million a year earlier. Revenue in the quarter dropped to $429.7 million, from $463.6 million last year, and same-store sales decreased 4%.

The retailer said it is conducting a strategic review of its operations, which includes the divestiture of its Fashion Bug business and the expansion of its Lane Bryant brand.

“While we have made progress in improving Fashion Bug's profitability, we believe that it does not fit within our future strategic plan,” said Anthony M. Romano, president and CEO.

Charming Shoppes has engaged Barclays Capital as its financial advisor to assist in the process, but has not yet given a timeline for the sale of Fashion Bug or commented on any other courses of action that could be taken after the strategic review.

As part of the growth of its Lane Bryant flagship brand, Romano said the company will add 125 new Lane Bryant locations and relocate 125 mall stores to power strip and lifestyle centers. It will close about 50 stores upon lease expiration. As part of the plan, it will also push the Cacique intimate apparel label and pursue innovative digital sales initiatives.

The store additions will expand the Lane Bryant footprint to approximately 900 stores, comprised of 750 full-line Lane Bryant stores and 150 Lane Bryant Outlet locations.