(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). While the third quarter has resulted in promising numbers for some, plus-size specialty retailer Charming Shoppes, Inc. struggled to pull in sales, which the company attributed partially to the closure of 115 of its stores. Net sales dropped 16.8 percent, to $460.2 million from $553.1 million, reflecting a 13 percent decrease in comparable store sales and a 6 percent increase in e-commerce sales. Gross profit decreased 6.7 percent, to $236.8 million from $253.9 million.
By division, comparable store sales decreased 14 percent at Lane Bryan stores, 14 percent at Fashion Bug stores and 5 percent at Catherine stores.
Despite sales drops, Jim Fogarty, president and chief executive officer of Charming Shoppes, commented that the company had “relative strength in accessories and intimates, [although] we did not provide our customer with a strong enough core tops and bottoms assortment,” continuing;
“In addition, in the context of substantial reductions in markdowns on our selling floor and the current difficult economic environment, we did not have a strong enough entry price assortment, nor did we plan strong enough product promotions. Finally, our bottoms assortment did not have sufficient depth in sizing and alternative lengths. We are listening more closely to our customer and are better aligning our assortments as we work into Spring 2010 and beyond […] similar to the beginning of the third quarter, we entered the fourth quarter with much less seasonal carry-over inventory than in the prior year."
As of the end of the third quarter of 2009, Charming Shoppes, Inc. operarted 2,227 retail stores in 48 states under the Lane Bryant; Lane Bryant Cacique; Lane Bryant Outlet; Fashion Bug; Fashion Bug Plus; Catherines Plus Sizes; and Petite Sophisticate Outlet names. For further information, contact Gayle M. Coolick, vice president of investor relations for the company: (215) 638-6955.
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