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Charming Shoppes Reports March Sales; Revises 1st Quarter Earnings Projections

From: ASAP


Charming Shoppes, Inc., (Nasdaq: CHRS), a leading retail apparel chain specializing in women's plus- size apparel, reported that total sales for the five weeks ended April 2, 2005 decreased 1% to $231,400,000 from $234,400,000 for the five weeks ended April 3, 2004. Comparable store sales for Charming Shoppes, Inc. decreased 3% for the five weeks ended April 2, 2005.

Apparel sales were unfavorably impacted during March by unseasonably colder weather versus a year ago, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest regions of the country, where the Company operates the majority of its stores. Lower traffic levels during the month were partially offset by increases in the average dollar sale and the average unit retail.

Based on March sales performance, the Company has revised projections for diluted earnings per share to a range of $0.20 - $0.21 for the 1st quarter ending April 30, 2005, as compared to prior guidance for the quarter of $0.22 - $0.23 per diluted share. This compares to reported diluted earnings per share of $0.22 for the quarterly period ended May 1, 2004, which included record net income for the Company. The Company projects negative low single digit comparable store sales for the consolidated corporation during the 1st quarter ending April 30, 2005 and the month of April 2005. The projected decrease in April 2005 comparable store sales is a result of the calendar shift of the Easter holiday, which fell in April last year.

Total sales for the nine weeks ended April 2, 2005 were $399,600,000 compared to $398,400,000 for the nine weeks ended April 3, 2004. Comparable store sales for Charming Shoppes, Inc. decreased 2% for the nine weeks ended April 2, 2005.

Comparable store sales by chain for the five and nine week periods ended April 2, 2005 were:

Five Weeks Ended 4/2/05 Nine Weeks Ended 4/2/05 Lane Bryant Stores -3% +1% Fashion Bug Stores -5% -4% Catherines Stores 0% +1% Total Corporation -3% -2%

For more detailed information on monthly sales, please call 1-866-CHRS- NEWS (1-866-247-7639) to listen to Charming Shoppes, Inc.'s prerecorded monthly sales commentary. This recording will be available until April 11, 2005.

Charming Shoppes, Inc. operates 2,227 stores in 48 states under the names LANE BRYANT(R), FASHION BUG(R), FASHION BUG PLUS(R), and CATHERINES PLUS SIZES(R). During the nine weeks ended April 2, 2005 the Company opened 10, relocated 14, and closed 4 stores. Please visit http://www.charmingshoppes.com for additional information about Charming Shoppes, Inc.

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements concerning the Company's operations, performance, and financial condition. These forward- looking statements include statements regarding future performance, earnings, sales, and other matters. Such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated. Such risks and uncertainties may include, but are not limited to: failure to successfully implement the Company's business plan for increased profitability and growth in the plus-size women's apparel business, changes in or miscalculation of fashion trends, extreme or unseasonable weather conditions, economic downturns, the impact of lease accounting adjustments on fiscal year 2005 and prior periods, a weakness in overall consumer demand, failure to find suitable store locations, the ability to hire and train associates, trade restrictions and political or financial instability in countries where goods are manufactured, the interruption of merchandise flow to the Company's retail stores from its centralized distribution facilities, competitive pressures, and the adverse effects of acts or threats of war, terrorism, or other armed conflict on the United States and international economies. These, and other risks and uncertainties, are detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2004 and other Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Charming Shoppes assumes no duty to update or revise its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that any projected results expressed or implied therein will not be realized.

SOURCE Charming Shoppes, Inc.

Posted April 2005

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