Charming Shoppes, Inc. : clothing company profile on Apparel Search 

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On May. 2, 2012, Ascena Retail 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 2012.

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 Outlet
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   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.

Learn more about Lane Bryant here on Apparel Search.

Learn more at the Lane Bryant website.


Fashion Bug
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

Learn more about Fashion Bug.


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

Learn more about Catherines here on Apparel Search.

Learn more at Catherines Plus Size

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Here is a brief summary of only some of Charming Shoppes achievements:

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 1990s.

Early 1990s
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 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

Charming Shoppes acquired Crosstown Traders, Inc., a direct marketer of women's apparel, footwear, accessories and specialty gifts.

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 were launched.

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.



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