On May. 2, 2012,
Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA) and Charming Shoppes, Inc.
(NASDAQ: CHRS) jointly announced that they have
entered into a definitive agreement under which Ascena will
acquire Charming Shoppes in a cash transaction valued at
approximately $890 million.
Ascena has agreed to make a cash
tender offer for all outstanding shares of Charming Shoppes
common stock at a price of $7.35 per share. The tender offer
is expected to commence within 10 business days. Subject to
customary conditions and approvals, the transaction is
expected to close during the second calendar quarter of
Charming Shoppes, Inc.
is a leading multi-brand specialty apparel retailer
primarily focused on plus-size women's apparel. They are
the parent company of three distinct store brands – Lane
Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines Plus Sizes.
Their Vision is to be the company known for celebrating the
lives and fashion image of women wearing plus sizes. Their
continuing Mission is to serve the lifestyle apparel needs
of women wearing plus sizes with the very best service,
fashion selection, value and fit.
Lane Bryant and Lane Bryant
Lane Bryant is the most widely recognized name in specialty
plus-size fashion. Acquired by Charming Shoppes, Inc. in
2001, Lane Bryant has nearly 900 full-line and outlet stores
nationwide as well as an expansive online store at
lanebryant.com. The company offers trend-forward,
sophisticated and high-quality fashion in sizes 14-28. By
being a positive influence on the way women feel about their
bodies, Lane Bryant has become the premier destination for
plus-size fashion and intimates.
Lane Bryant here on Apparel Search.
Learn more at the
Fashion Bug was the chain that founded Charming
Shoppes—and, for many years, was their only brand. The
chain, at one point, grew to over 1200 stores nationwide.
The stores sold women's fashion apparel and were located in
strip shopping centers, catering to middle and lower-class
segments. It offered fashion apparel and accessories in
plus, missed and junior size ranges. In June 2012,
Charming Shoppes announced that Fashion Bug stores would be
closing; the final stores closed in February 2013. Fashion Bug
is the lifestyle brand for today's woman in plus and misses
sizes, and a women's fashion apparel leader in strip
shopping centers. Fashion Bug invites women everywhere to
look great and spend less— from dress to business casual,
and from active knits to jeans and fashion tops. Featuring
shoes, lingerie and accessories, too. Look for their latest
styles at fashionbug.com
Learn more about
Catherines Plus Sizes
With more than 450 stores nationwide, their
Catherines brand is a leading plus size specialty retailer
targeting women age 45+. Catherines offers classic and
current plus size fashion and accessories for career and
casual lifestyles in sizes 0X–5X. Their customers can shop
Catherines on the Web at catherines.com
about Catherines here on Apparel Search.
Learn more at
Catherines Plus Size
Here is a brief summary of only some
Charming Shoppes debuted on September 13,
1940, when Morris and Arthur Sidewater opened their first
store on a busy neighborhood block in Philadelphia. The
store was originally called Charm Shoppes and later changed
to Charming Shoppes.
In 1951, the Sidewater brothers teamed up with another pair
of brothers, David and Ellis Wachs, and opened a second
Charming Shoppes store, in Norristown, Pennsylvania. The
group continued to open stores into the late fifties.
Plans were made for the opening of the first Charming
Shoppes store in a large suburban shopping center. The
founders, who wanted a new name for a store in such a
location, opened the first Fashion Bug
store, in Audubon, New Jersey.
Charming Shoppes became a public corporation in 1971,
trading on the over-the-counter market, NASDAQ®. In 1972,
Fashion Bug stores became computerized. Among the first in
the retailing industry to have computerized registers,
Charming Shoppes pioneered the use of the point-of-sale
register. During the late 1970s Fashion Bug entered a period
of rapid store expansion, which continued into the early
The 1,000th Fashion Bug store opened in 1990, as Charming
Shoppes continued to expand by about 100 stores per year. In
1991, Charming Shoppes recorded $1 billion dollars in
sales—its most successful year ever at the time. Starting in
1993, the entire retail industry began a downward spiral,
forcing many notable established retailers out of business.
Charming Shoppes halted plans for continued expansion and
struggled to survive. As an innovator, Charming Shoppes
opened an on-site child-care facility and wellness center
for the benefit of Charming Shoppes employees in 1993.
Charming Shoppes championed social responsibility, launching
several charitable programs designed to provide assistance
and information to women and children in need. The programs
included clothing and monetary donations as well as the
establishment of Fashion Bug's Community Center, an in-store
display housing free literature on health, education,
finances and family matters. The Dominis Social Index rated
Charming Shoppes one of the top socially responsible
companies in the region.
Charming Shoppes purchased 28 valuable locations from the
Petrie clothing chain. In an effort to focus on Fashion
Bug's core female customer, the men's division was phased
out of all Fashion Bug stores.
The Company began the execution of its strategy to expand
its focus on the women's plus-size apparel business.
Charming Shoppes acquired the 137-store Modern Woman
plus-size apparel chain.
The 433-store Memphis-based Catherines Stores Corporation
was added to the Company, with the strategic plan of
integrating Modern Woman into Catherines' plus-size
platform. Charming Shoppes now operated more than 1,750
women's specialty stores in 48 states.
Charming Shoppes acquired America's number-one plus-size
specialty apparel provider, Lane Bryant, with 651 stores.
Now the country's largest women's plus-size specialty
apparel provider, Charming Shoppes is also the third-largest
women's specialty retailer, operating more than 2,200
stores, with 72 percent of revenues from plus sizes. Also in
2001, Charming Shoppes acquired the Web site assets of
alight.com and used the acquired assets to form its Charming
Shoppes Interactive, Inc. subsidiary. Charming Interactive
was chartered to provide an Internet Web site presence for
Charming Shoppes' family of brands.
In January, Charming Shoppes announced a restructuring plan,
including a number of initiatives designed to position the
Company for increased profitability and growth in the
plus-size business. The major components of this plan
included closing the Added Dimensions/Answer chain, closing
underperforming Fashion Bug stores and converting several
Fashion Bug store locations to Lane Bryant stores.
Fashion Bug launched e-commerce at fashionbug.com.
Charming Shoppes acquired Crosstown Traders, Inc., a direct
marketer of women's apparel, footwear, accessories and
Also in 2005, Charming Shoppes announced plans to assume the
leases on approximately 75 outlet store locations previously
operated by Casual Corner Annex. The agreement provided an
entry into many of the country's leading outlet centers for
the Lane Bryant brand.
In July 2006, the Company launched Lane Bryant Outlet ™ with
the opening of the Company's first outlet store at Franklin
Mills in Philadelphia. The Company opened 82 Lane Bryant
Outlet stores during 2006.
In October, 2007, the trademark for the Lane Bryant Catalog
reverted to Charming Shoppes, Inc., and our first Lane
Bryant Woman Catalog and www.lanebryantcatalog.com were
Charming Shoppes sells its non-core misses apparel catalog
titles (Crosstown Traders) to Orchard Brands and announces
plans to discontinue the Lane Bryant Woman Catalog.
Charming Shoppes sells its credit card receivables program
to Alliance Data Systems Corporation.
Learn more about
Charming Shoppes Inc. at their website.