FINANCE

Chico’s FAS Marks Another Down Quarter

BY CSA STAFF

Fort Myers, Fla. Disappointing sales at trend-setting retailer Chico’s FAS continued to follow the overall trend of declining sales in women’s apparel.

For the second quarter, Chico’s reported a 7.1% decline in net sales, falling to $405.2 million from $436 million in 2007. Same-store sales were down 15.9% compared to the year-ago period and the month of August suggests little relief. Same-store sales for the opening weeks of the third quarter, through Aug. 24, were running 10.7% below last year.

For the first half of fiscal 2008, the company’s net sales fell 8.4% to $814.8 million vs. $889.1 million in 2007, and same-store sales were down 16.7%.

In terms of brand performance, the company’s White House/Black Market (WHBM) stores performed slightly better than the flagship Chico’s stores. Year-to-date through Aug. 2, same-store sales for the Chico’s brand plummeted 20% and were down approximately 11% at WHBM.

During the second quarter, the company opened 20 new stores and closed one store, bringing the portfolio total to 1,079 locations. There are 619 Chico’s stores, 41 Chico’s outlets, 329 WHBM stores, 19 WHBM outlets, 70 Soma stores and one Soma outlet. Sales for the Soma brand are included in the figures reported for the Chico’s brand.

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S&B Holdings to acquire Steve & Barry’s

BY CSA STAFF

PORT WASHINGTON Steve & Barry’s LLC announced that BHY S&B Holdings LLC, a newly formed affiliate of investment firms Bay Harbour Management and York Capital Management, has received Court approval to acquire to acquire substantially all assets of Steve & Barry’s. The acquisition is scheduled to be completed on Aug. 25.

Under the terms of the $163 million purchase agreement, the majority of Steve & Barry’s 276 stores will continue to serve customers nationwide. BHY S&B Holdings has made no decisions concerning which Steve & Barry’s stores will close or when, although an announcement is anticipated in the next week, the company reported.

In addition to acquiring merchandise inventories and transfer rights to Steve & Barry’s store leases, BHY S&B Holdings will acquire all Steve & Barry’s intellectual property rights, including its celebrity and brand licenses, and the company’s key facilities, including its Port Washington, New York headquarters, Columbus, Ohio distribution center, and certain overseas offices.

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AAFES commander Thurgood promoted to Major General

BY CSA STAFF

DALLAS AAFES commander Brigadier General Keith Thurgood was promoted to Maj. Gen. on Thursday, Aug. 14 in the boardroom at AAFES headquarters.

In his civilian occupation, General Thurgood serves as the director of strategy and innovation for PepsiCo, INC in financial, supply chain, logistics and systems development roles. He is responsible for the development of supply chain and logistics strategies across a 30 billion dollar enterprise.

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