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  • Nick Monjo

Soma Q4 And Full Year 2022 Sales Down A Bit

Vanishing Tummy Retro Thong and Bodify bra on the website.

Sales at Soma dipped a bit in the fourth quarter and full fiscal year 2022, and the brand announced it was slowing the previously announced pace of new store openings in 2023.

In the 13 weeks ended January 28, sales at the lingerie division of Chico’s FAS were $128.544 million, down 1.6% from $130.616 million in the quarter ended January 29, 2022. For the year, sales at the division were $459.866 million, down 3.8% from $478.116 in fiscal 2021. Last year, fourth quarter sales were up almost 10% over the prior year and CEO Molly Langenstein boasted at the time that the results marked “six consecutive quarters of comparable sales growth” for the brand.

In the conference call to discuss the results, Chico’s CFO Patrick Guido discussed the cut in new store openings for 2023, revealing the brand is now “targeting up to 15 new Somas and we had originally expected 30 annually. The reason for the slowdown is it’s just a function of us being more disciplined in our approach to generating returns in our stores and the real-estate market is getting more competitive and rents — there is pressure on rents, so we want to make sure what we’re doing is prudent on the real-estate front.” Last year, he added, “we opened 27 standalone Soma stores and refreshed 43 of our most productive Chico’s, White House Black Market and Soma boutiques.”

In silent acknowledgment to the small declines at Soma, Langenstein pointed out that “our Soma performance improved in the second half of the year, with particular strength in our foundations business.” She said the division had “remarkable success with last year’s launch of our game-changing smart bra Bodify that includes proprietary technology that adjusts to a women’s individual body measurement as they fluctuate throughout the month.”

“We continue to invest in newness in the categories of bras,” she added. “We had some new categories like a new Vanishing Tummy thong and some shapewear lunches. So we’re really excited about the start that we have to the spring season and how we saw the customer respond to regular-price, higher AUR and product with more innovation.” ­— NM


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