Northeast Market Profile Case History: Fashion Bug Disposition

Disposition firm: A&G Realty Partners

Number of properties: 600

Locations: 95% in strip centers, with the balance in middle market malls across the United States

Status: A&G successfully terminated more than 300 leases. The balance had natural lease expirations.

Last year, the Ascena Retail Group Inc. acquired Charming Shoppes for more than $900 million. Ascena wanted Charming Shoppes’ three apparel chains: Fashion Bug, Lane Bryant and Catherines Plus Sizes. Eventually Ascena decided to close the troubled Fashion Bug and dispose of the brand’s 600 locations. The company brought in A&G Realty to handle the disposition. A&G reviewed the list of stores with other women’s apparel retailers, while approaching growing retailers and brokers in individual markets around the country. When retailers showed interest, A&G negotiated lease assignments with landlords. When stores couldn’t be placed, A&G negotiated lease terminations with the landlords. The effort succeeded thanks to the comprehensive communications effort by A&G and a retail real estate environment with little to no new development and landlords motivated to replace old leases at below-market rents with new leases.

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