Charming Shoppes

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Charming Shoppes, Inc.
Subsidiary of Ascena Retail Group
Industry Retail
Founded 1940
Headquarters Bensalem, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Key people
Jim P. Fogarty - President and Chief Executive Officer
Products Clothing
Revenue Increase$811 Million USD (2008)
Number of employees
10,300 (2008)
Subsidiaries Lane Bryant
Petite Sophisticate
Slogan Celebrating the lives and fashion image of plus-size women

Charming Shoppes is a specialty and plus size clothing retail holding company based in Bensalem, Pennsylvania; a suburb of Philadelphia. Its subsidiaries are Lane Bryant, Cacique and Catherines Plus.[2] Clothes are sold from over 2300 retail stores in the United States, as well as numerous catalogs and online sites.[3]


Charming Shoppes was founded in 1940, went public in 1971,[4] and was ranked 810th on the 2010 Fortune 1000.[5] On May 2, 2012, Charming Shoppes announced it will merge with Ascena Retail Group, parent company of DressBarn with a $900 million transaction through a combination of cash on hand and $325 million of borrowings from credit facilities. [2][6][7]

Services and products[edit]

A Fashion Bug store at a strip mall in Hillsboro, Oregon

The Company's operation are divided into two segments: Retail Stores and Direct-to-Consumer.

  • The Retail Stores segment derives its revenues from sales through retail stores and store-related e-commerce sales under its Lane Bryant (including Lane Bryant Outlet), Fashion Bug, and Catherines Plus Sizes brands.[8]
    • Lane Bryant — A retailer of specialty plus-size fashion, Lane Bryant was acquired by Charming Shoppes in 2001. With more than 900 stores nationwide, Lane Bryant stores sell clothes for plus size women. In July 2006, Charming Shoppes launched Lane Bryant Outlet.
    • Catherines Plus — A plus-size specialty retailer with more than 500 stores throughout the country, the Catherines brand targets women 40–65 years old and sells clothing and accessories for career and casual wear.
  • The Direct-to-Consumer segment derives its revenues from catalog sales and catalog-related e-commerce sales under its FIGI’S title,[8] a leading food gift retailer. On Oct 16, the company announced that it has closed the sale of Figi's, to Mason Companies, Inc.[9]

Defunct Brands[edit]

    • Fashion Bug — Fashion Bug was the chain that founded Charming Shoppes--and was for many years 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 and misses. In June 2012, Charming Shoppes announced that Fashion Bug stores will be closing. The final stores closed in February 2013.
    • Added Dimensions and The Answer — Two chains which were acquired as part of Catherine's in January, 2000. These chains operated plus-size women's stores in the Northeastern and Southeastern US and had previously been a part of Virginia Specialty Stores, which was acquired by Catherines Inc. in 1992. Charming operated the 77-store chain until 2002, and then announced it would close 80% of the locations, and convert the remaining 20% into its Catherines brand.
    • Modern Woman — Modern Woman was a 125-store chain of plus-size women's clothing stores, operating primarily in strip shopping centers in the US. The chain was acquired by Charming in 1999. The stores were mostly converted to the Catherine's Brand, and the remainders to the Fashion Bug Plus brand.
    • PS...Plus Sizes, Plus Savings — These stores were created by Catherines Inc. in 1980 and acquired by Charming Shoppes when they acquired Catherines Inc. in January, 2000. The stores were converted to other Charming brands.
    • Monsoon and Accessorize — Opened as a joint venture between Charming Shoppes Inc. and Monsoon plc of the UK, the partnership aimed to bring the 2 successful UK brands to traditional enclosed shopping malls in the US. Approximately 10 pilot locations were opened in malls in Virginia, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania in 2002. The partnership ended and the stores were shuttered in 2007.

Social responsibility[edit]

Charming Shoppes is a company with social responsibility. It works with many charities to help the people in need.

  • Relay for Life: During the American Cancer Society Relay For Life events all the round the country, DressBarn and maurices form a team with their customers to raise funds for the Relay for Life.[10] What's more, to support the events, dressbarn introduces its 'Circle of Hope' charm bracelet to sell. The entire net profit coming from sales of the charm bracelets will be donated to the American Cancer Society. In addition, in support of the Relay for Life events, DressBarn encourages communities around the country to work together.[11]
  • Making Strides Against Breast Cancer: DressBarn helps its cooperator American Cancer Society raise funds for local and national breast cancer to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.[12] Since 2003,the DressBarn has been holding in-store campaign every year, during the campaign, the clothes are very cheap, which has been a part of dressbarn's ongoing relationship with the American Cancer Society.[13]


  1. ^ "Company Profile for Charming Shoppes Inc (CHRS)". Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  2. ^ a b Staff (May 2, 2012), "Charming Shoppes to be sold for $890M", Philadelphia Business Journal (Morning ed.), retrieved May 27, 2012 
  3. ^ Charming Shoppes catalogs
  4. ^ Charming Shoppes history
  5. ^ "Fortune 500 - Fortune". Fortune. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  6. ^ James Palczynski, Gayle M Coolick, James McCusker, ed. (May 2, 2012), Ascena Retail Group, Inc. Reaches Agreement to Acquire Charming Shoppes, Inc. (press release), Thomson Reuters, retrieved May 27, 2012 
  7. ^ "Ascena Retail Group, Inc. Completes Acquisition of Charming Shoppes, Inc. - Business Wire". 15 June 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Charming Shoppes, Inc.: quotes & news - Google Finance". Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "Ascena Retail Group Announces Closing of Figi's Sale". Benzinga. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  10. ^ Giving Back:Relay for life
  11. ^ "News Release". Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  12. ^ Giving Back:Making Strikes
  13. ^ "Making Strides National Corporate Supporters". Retrieved 28 May 2015. 


External links[edit]