Report: Charming Shoppes Scales Back Openings

Bensalem, Pa. Charming Shoppes Inc. executives are cutting back year-over-year store openings in 2008 by 50%, according to GlobeSt.com.

The news follows the announcement of the company’s decision to close approximately 150 stores. The stores, most of which are set to close during the second half of the year, account for an annual loss of around $5 million, the report said.

However, the retailer plans to open 45 to 55 new stores this year, primarily in its plus-sized Lane Bryant chain.

Charming Shoppes said Wednesday it swung to a loss in its fourth quarter same-store sales, which fell at each of the company's brands. The company reported a loss of $127.6 million, compared to a profit of $24.9 million in the prior-year quarter.

Revenue fell 10% to $784.9 million from $874 million a year earlier. The company said sales in the prior-year period reflected an extra week. Meanwhile, same-store sales dropped 9%.

The company will have a more focused promotional strategy than it did late last year, said Dorrit Bern, the company’s president and chief executive officer, during a conference call.

“We want to get her in the store, but we don’t want to give away product like we did in the fourth quarter,” she said.

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