That is the age old question and it seems to be a major block for the Charming Brand! ICSC is reporting that Charming Shoppes is to close about 240 stores this year, the company announced in its fourth quarter earnings results, after reporting a $30 million loss for the period. More than half of these will involve Fashion Bug stores. The retailer is also shutting all its 30 Catherines Plus Sizes outlet stores over the coming two years
The units to be closed account for about 12 percent of the company’s total number of stores. The locations of the stores was not revealed.
Looking ahead, Charming Shoppes must improve its merchandise, both in terms of selection breadth and quality, said Anthony M. Romano, the company's newly appointed president and CEO. "Quantitatively, the Company became accustomed to lower inventory turns because we were serving a size intensive array of customers by providing them with three fits in three lengths in eight sizes. While the approach was right, our execution has been weak. We will improve our inventory management through tiered inventory investments so as to maximize our returns,” the report quotes him as saying. "Qualitatively, we must upgrade our offerings. We were far too basic and not responsive to our customers' fashion preferences. We mistakenly believed being in-stock with great-fitting merchandise was good enough. It clearly wasn't. Each of our brands continues to make significant progress in its merchandise assortments, most notably in their efforts to ensure the items work together as outfits.”