REAL ESTATE

Ascena Retail completes purchase of Charming Shoppes; to shutter Fashion Bug

BY Marianne Wilson

Suffern, N.Y. — Ascena Retail Group on Friday said that it has completed its acquisition of Charming Shoppes. The company also announced that it plans to cease operating and close down Charming Shoppes’ Fashion Bug business by early 2013, and is exploring a potential sale of Charming Shoppes’ Figi’s business, which markets food and specialty gift products.

In 2011, Charming Shoppes closed 124 Fashion Bug stores. The chain had previously announced its intention to continue to close certain Fashion Bug stores.

Charming Shoppes, whose banners include Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, and Catherines Plus Sizes, will operate as a separate subsidiary of Ascena. The combined company now operates approximately 3,800 locations and, on a trailing 12 month basis, generated over $4.4 billion of combined net sales.

“We believe that we have a significant opportunity to fully realize the significant potential of this business,” said David Jaffe, president and CEO of Ascena. “The Lane Bryant and Catherine’s businesses are extremely complementary to our other concepts and we expect them to integrate seamlessly. Though this process will take time, we believe there is an excellent opportunity to streamline the business, capture efficiencies and to share resources.”

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Dollar Tree re-elects board members

BY CSA STAFF

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Dollar Tree shareholders have re-elected a number of board members among other initiatives passed at the company’s annual meeting.

Shareholders re-elected Arnold S. Barron, Macon F. Brock, Jr., Mary Anne Citrino, J. Douglas Perry, Thomas A. Saunders III, Thomas E. Whiddon, and Carl P. Zeithaml to serve on the board of directors. Each of these Directors received a majority of the votes cast at the meeting.

In addition, shareholders passed a proposal to approve, on an advisory basis, the compensation of the company’s named executive officers and ratified the selection of KPMG as the company’s independent registered public accounting firm. Both of these proposals received a majority of votes cast at the meeting.

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Esprit chairman leaves unexpectedly

BY CSA STAFF

HONGKONG — Esprit Holdings’ chairman has unexpectedly resigned, just one day after the sudden departure of CEO Ronald van der Vis.

Chairman Hans-Joachim Korber said he is leaving for personal reasons, while van der Vis’s reasons were described as “personal and family.” CFO Chew Fook Aun left the company on June 1.

Analysts said that the departures had raised concerns that more problems may be afoot at the retailer. Korber’s – who is replaced by Raymond Or, a former chief executive at Hang Seng Bank — resignation takes effect immediately, Esprit said, while Van der Vis’ starts around July.

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