Charlotte Russe (clothing retailer)
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|Headquarters||San Diego, California, U.S.|
Number of locations
|Products||Clothing, footwear, and accessories for women|
Number of employees
Charlotte Russe is a clothing retail chain store in the United States, headquartered in San Diego, California. Fashions in the stores are targeted at women in their teens and twenties. The company owns and operates stores in 45 states,. It can be found in many malls/shopping centers. As of June 2014[update], Charlotte Russe operates 560 stores.
Daniel Lawrence and his two brothers were raised working for their father in the clothing business in Brooklyn, New York. When they were older, they formed Lawrence Merchandising Corp., which opened a clothing store in Carlsbad, California in 1975. They named the store after a favorite French childhood dessert, Charlotte Russe. The owners opened numerous locations within San Diego, California throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. The first store outside San Diego was 20,000 square feet, much larger than other locations. Most up to that time were 5,000 square feet.
In the 1990s, the company changed the style of the clothing stock to appeal to their aging original customers and their daughters. One Lawrence brother noted that "We attract women of a certain attitude, not age." They keep their store focused on clothes and accessories appropriate in the Southern California and Southwest areas. The company made net sales of $50 million in 1991.
The company was acquired in 1996 by the investment firm of SKM (Saunders Karp & Megrue). The new owners had expansion plans for Charlotte Russe and the company evolved into a national chain of shopping mall stores. SKM took Charlotte Russe public in 1999. The company was taken private by Advent International in 2009, which installed Jenny Ming in the role of President and CEO.
- 1975: Lawrence brothers open first Charlotte Russe store, in Carlsbad, California.
- 1990: Charlotte Russe moves into Arizona.
- 1992: Company expands into Nevada.
- 1994: Clothing manufacturer Rampage Clothing Co. opens first retail outlet.
- 1996: Investment firm SKM buys Charlotte Russe.
- 1997: Company buys Rampage, with 15 stores nationwide.
- 1999: Charlotte Russe Holding goes public.
This store sells jeans from sizes 00 to 16 and has a new clothing line for plus sizes extending to 3x in select stores Charlotte Russe currently has stores open in 46 states across the U.S.
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