(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). Despite sales increases during the fourth quarter ended January 29, Charming Shoppes Inc. said it plans to close approximately 240 unprofitable stores by the end of this year, more than half of which are Fashion Bug locations, in an effort to improve its financial position. The company added that it plans to close all 30 of the Catherines Plus Sizes outlet locations over a two-year period, as these stores are generating negative results.
Driven by a 9 percent comparable store sales increase, during the fourth quarter the company cited a 6.8 percent net sales increase, to $575.8 million. Also driving the growth was a 41 percent e-commerce sales increase.
The company also reported an improvement in its adjusted EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), which was $10.7 million compared to a negative adjusted EBITDA of $12.9 million during last year’s fourth quarter.
“The improvement in our fourth quarter results was driven by a more targeted holiday fashion assortment, an improved in-stock inventory position in our intimate apparel and core bottoms program and a more aggressive promotional and advertising program that in previous holiday seasons,” said Anthony Romano, the newly-appointed president and C.E.O of Charming Shoppes.
By division, net sales at Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines rose 12 percent, 1 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Comparable store sales were up 11 percent at Lane Bryant, 10 percent at Fashion Bug and 2 percent at Catherines.
Charming Shoppes ended the fourth quarter with 2,064 stores in 48 states under the Lane Bryant, Cacique, Lane Bryant Outlet, Fashion Bug, Fashion Bug Plus and Catherines Plus Sizes names.
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