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Cacique's Huge Plus Size Footprint

Lane Bryant and Cacique double platinum stores designed by Chute Gerdeman at King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania.
Lane Bryant and Cacique double platinum stores designed by Chute Gerdeman at King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania.

(Filed Under wholesale Plus Size News). Charming Shoppes has recently made a significant expansion in the amount of space it devotes to plus size lingerie. At the start of 2009 there are already 130 Cacique plus size lingerie stores in 35 states across the U.S., up from about 80 in August of 2007. The stores all adjoin Lane Bryant plus size apparel stores. Both labels are owned by Charming. Overall, Cacique lingerie is available in all the 808 Lane Bryant regular price stores and 106 Lane Bryant outlets.

The 130 Lane Bryant and Cacique side-by-side combinations have separate entrances. The company calls them "double platinum stores." Significantly, the company says each location devotes a minimum of 2,000 square feet to Cacique (and 5,000 square feet to Lane Bryant sportswear).

Currently, Cacique does not have any freestanding locations. The advantage of having each store side-by-side is to allow the consumer to create a complete outfit in one place while retaining brand separation. "It's the same company that understands the shape and curves of a plus size gal, so we understand all those things and we really want to help her head to toe," said Gayle Coolick, vice president of investor relations at Charming Shoppes. She added, "we're constantly working back and forth with the whole outfit, not just the outside and not just the inside."

According to Coolick, Cacique intimate apparel accounts for 25 percent of total sales at Lane Bryant. "Cacique is a significant component of Lane Bryant stores, regardless of if it's a standalone or a combination," she said.

As for 2009, the company, whose fiscal year closes at the end of January, has not yet released plans for new stores. Coolick said Charming is enthusiastic about opening new Cacique locations, however, the difficult retail environment may slow the pace of expansion. She added, "we recently talked about a small number of Lane Bryant stores that will close in the new year, but we have not yet identified specific store locations." She noted that store closings occur every year as leases become due and new property opportunities arise.

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Published 01-08-2009 by Bruna Fernandes

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