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Charming Shoppes Reports

From: ASAP

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Charming Shoppes, Inc., the retail apparel chain specializing in women's plus-size and misses apparel, today reported earnings and sales for the third quarter ended November 3, 2001. For the three months ended November 3, 2001, net income was $160,000 or $0.00 per share, compared to net income of $7,377,000 or $0.07 per share for the corresponding period last year. Sales for the quarter ended November 3, 2001 increased 51% to $549,295,000, compared to sales of $363,812,000 during the corresponding period of the prior year. Total sales include sales from Lane Bryant, which was acquired by Charming Shoppes on August 16, 2001. Comparable store sales for the corporation, reflecting comparable sales for all divisions, decreased 4% for the quarter ended November 3, 2001. Dorrit J. Bern, Chairman and CEO of Charming Shoppes, Inc., remarked, "In response to a slower economy, we have undertaken a number of initiatives:

1) Continuing tightly controlled inventories -- we have entered the holiday selling season with less inventory than a year ago, on a comparable basis.

2) Reductions in selling and administrative expenses, including reduction in store payroll across all brands.

3) Additionally, we have increased our marketing activity for the holiday season, as compared to last year, to compete in this highly promotional environment."

For the nine months ended November 3, 2001, net income was $23,338,000 or $0.22 per diluted share, compared to net income of $42,491,000 or $0.40 per diluted share for the corresponding period last year, excluding the cumulative effect of an accounting change of $540,000, net of tax. Sales for the nine months ended November 3, 2001 increased 15% to $1,346,756,000, compared to sales of $1,172,395,000 during the corresponding period of the prior year. Total sales include sales from Lane Bryant, which was acquired on August 16, 2001. Comparable store sales for the corporation, reflecting comparable sales for all divisions, decreased 5% for the nine months ended November 3, 2001. Commenting on business, Bern said, "With the completion of the Lane Bryant acquisition, we have positioned Charming Shoppes as the leader in plus-sizes in a specialty format by adding this premier brand to our family of stores. We are extremely pleased with the sales, gross margin, and operating performance of our new Lane Bryant stores, during this difficult retail climate." On August 16, 2001, the Company announced the completion of the purchase of Lane Bryant from The Limited, Inc. for approximately $335 million. On a pro-forma basis, the Company will have approximately $2.5 billion in annual sales with more than 70% of revenue derived from plus-sizes, and will operate nearly 2,500 mall-based and strip center stores in 48 states. In response to the continuing weak retail environment, the Company has reprojected comparable store sales for the fourth quarter in the negative mid single digit range. Based on these sales projections, earnings per share for the fourth quarter is projected to be in the range of $0.01 to $0.03. For the full fiscal year ending February 2, 2002, earnings per share is projected to be in the range of $0.23 to $0.25. Projected new store activity for the full fiscal year includes 126 new stores and 52 relocations.

The Company will host its Third Quarter Fiscal 2002 earnings conference call today at 9:15 am (EST). Prepared remarks will be made on third quarter performance, and an outlook for the full fiscal year 2002, and will be followed by a question and answer period. To listen to the conference call, please dial 212-346-6589 approximately 10 minutes prior to the scheduled event. The conference call will also be simulcast at www.companyboardroom.com . The general public is invited to listen to the conference call via the webcast or the dial-in telephone number. An audio replay and transcript of this call will be accessible at www.charmingshoppes.com starting at approximately 2:00 pm (EST) today. An audio replay of this call will also be accessible at www.companyboardroom.com . The replay will remain available for approximately 1 week. The conference call will be recorded on behalf of Charming Shoppes, Inc. and consists of copyrighted material. It may not be re-recorded, reproduced, transmitted or rebroadcast, in whole or in part, without the Company's express written permission. Accessing this call or the rebroadcast represents consent to these terms and conditions. Participation in this call serves as consent to having any comments or statements made appear on any transcript, broadcast or rebroadcast of this call.

At the end of the quarter, Charming Shoppes, Inc., operated 2,495 stores in 48 states under the names LANE BRYANT(R), FASHION BUG(R), FASHION BUG PLUS(R), CATHERINE'S PLUS SIZES(R), THE ANSWER(TM), ADDED DIMENSIONS(R), MONSOON(R) and ACCESSORIZE(R). Monsoon and Accessorize are registered trademarks of Monsoon Accessorize Ltd. During the nine months ended November 3, 2001, the Company acquired 651, opened 125, relocated 46, and closed 36 stores. The Company ended the quarter with 1,268 Fashion Bug and Fashion Bug Plus stores, 659 Lane Bryant stores, 457 Catherine's Plus Sizes stores, 102 The Answer/Added Dimensions stores, and 9 Monsoon/Accessorize stores. The Company ended the quarter with approximately 17,525,000 square feet of leased space. Please visit http://www.charmingshoppes.com for additional information about Charming Shoppes, Inc

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