(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). Despite undertaking what Jim Fogarty, president and chief executive officer of the company, described as a reassessment of its direction for Fashion Bug’s assortments during the period, Charming Shoppes’ sales continued to decline during the fourth quarter ended January 30th, 2010. Net sales decreased 14.7 percent, reflecting a 12 percent drop in comparable store sales, the impact of 152 closings and a 10 percent increase in e-commerce sales. Comparable store sales declined 15 percent, 8 percent and 6 percent at the company’s Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines stores, respectively.
This came on the heels of a weak third quarter, in which net sales dropped 16.8 percent, reflecting a 13 percent drop in comparable store sales and a 6 percent increase in e-commerce sales.
Fogarty remarked: “Considering lead times to adjust apparel assortment, our results in the fourth quarter showed only modest improvement and reflected very similar assortment issues to those we referenced in third quarter – a lack of focus on our customer and a failure to provide her with a strong focused core tops and bottoms assortment […] As a result of our work on Lane Bryant during the third quarter, we have made a number of improvements in our spring assortments, including Lane Bryant’s recent launched of core tops and bottoms programs […] and new assortments of swimwear and footwear.”
As of the end of the fourth quarter, Charming Shoppes, Inc. operated 2,121 retail stores in 48 states under the Lane Bryant; Lane Bryant Outlet; Cacique; Fashion Bug; Fashion Bug Plus; and Catherines Plus Sizes names.
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