BENSALEM, Pa. – Retailer Charming Shoppes Inc. on Monday said it will close one of its plus-sized women's clothing chains and 207 stores, and will take a $37.5 million fourth-quarter pretax charge for a restructuring, as it focuses on building its more productive Lane Bryant chain.
The retailer said it will close the Added Dimensions/Answer chain and its 77 stores, and will also shutter 130 underperforming Fashion Bug stores. It said it will convert 44 Fashion Bug stores to Lane Bryant, a plus-sized women's clothing chain of about 650 stores it acquired from the Limited Inc. in August last year.
Charming Shoppes said it will post a fourth-quarter loss of 2 cents to 4 cents, and full-year earnings of 18 cents to 20 cents, excluding the charge. Including the charge, it sees a quarterly loss of 23 cents to 25 cents and a full-year loss between 1 cent and 3 cents. It forecast 2003 earnings of 34 cents to 36 cents, with sales of $2.45 billion.
The company said it expects its annual earnings to improve by $12 million before taxes due to the actions, starting in the fiscal year ending January 31, 2004. The majority of the store closings will occur in the second half of the fiscal year ending Feb. 1, 2003, it said.