Fashion and marketing success formula at Chicos

Surprisingly strong third quarter same store sales growth at Chico’s was attributed to a blend of compelling fall fashion assortments and effective marketing.

Same store sales at the Chico’s and Soma Intimate brands division increased 11.6% while the White House Black Market division increased 6.4%. The solid sales growth enabled the company to record net income that grew 57.4% to $41.7 million, or 25 cents per share, compared to $26.5 million, or 16 cents a share. Even if some non-recurring acquisition and integration costs related to last year’s purchase of Boston Proper are excluded profits still increased 38.9% to 25 cents a share from 18 cents a share, the company’s best third quarter performance since 2005.

"Overall, our unique leading edge fashion and innovative marketing continue to drive significant achievements, including a double-digit increase in new customers and increases in both average dollar sales and transactions," CEO David Dyer said during a conference call. "These results mark our 14th consecutive quarter of comparable sales increases and the 15th consecutive quarter of double-digit earnings per share growth, demonstrating a consistent level of strong performance."

Year to date, Chico’s has opened 111 new stores, of which 60 are outlet locations. It ended the quarter with 614 stores and 99 outlets under its Chico’s brand, 401 White House Black Market stores, 194 stores and 16 outlets under the Soma Intimates banner and the recently acquired high end, direct to consumer brand Boston Proper.

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