White House Black Market

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White House Black Market, inc.
Industry Retail
Founded 1985
Headquarters Fort Myers, Florida
Number of locations
451 boutiques, 67 outlet stores
Area served
United States,
Puerto Rico,
U.S Virgin Islands, and
Products apparel and
$888M (fiscal 2014) [1]

White House | Black Market is an American women’s clothing retailer headquartered in Fort Myers, Florida. The multichannel brand, founded in 1985, specializes in upscale clothing for women ages 35 and older. While black, white and iterations of the two shades is the company’s hallmark, White House | Black Market is also known for its sleek lines and seasonal accent colors.[2]

White House | Black Market owns and operates various clothing and accessories boutiques in the United States and Canada, where they sell their exclusive collection of tops, dresses, skirts, pants, jackets, outerwear, shoes jewelry and accessories. Since 2003, White House | Black Market has operated as a subsidiary of Chico's.[3]


The company began in 1985 when cofounders Patricia Smith and Richard Sarmiento opened the first store called The White House, in Baltimore, Maryland. True to its name, The White House only carried women’s clothing in shades of white. The boutique performed extremely well, catering to an upscale clientele of women.[4]

In 1991, with the help of National Retail Group, a North-Carolina-based consulting firm, The White House began its national expansion. After a decade of selling exclusively white merchandise, the brand launched a new retail format — "Black Market"— in 1995.[5] A few experiments followed, where Sarmiento the founders housed both White House and Black Market under the same roof. His endeavors were successful, and in 1997, the company began converting existing stores to this White House | Black Market combination concept.[6]

In 2003, Chico’s FAS, Inc. successfully purchased White House | Black Market after the privately held firm went public.[7] The purchase price for the specialty retailer was $90M, with $85.6M in cash and about $4.4M in Chico’s common stock.[8]


White House | Black Market’s collections include a sophisticated, stylish, trend-driven assortment featuring dresses, jackets, pants, shoes, swim, tees, accessories and everyday essentials.[9] Key collections include:

  • Iconic Black & White – Classic black and white clothing.[10]
  • Workwear – Multitasking pieces designed to be worn all day long. The WorkKit™ collection, in a seasonless black fabric,[11] includes pants, jackets, shirts and accessories that make dressing for work easier than ever.
  • Saint Honoré Jeans – A denim collection designed to fit a range of figures and sizes, including tall, curvy and petite.[12]
  • Wedding & Event Boutique – Launched on January 26, 2015. The collection’s key piece is White House | Black Market’s exclusive Genius dress, a design that can be worn multiple ways. The Wedding & Event Boutique features party and cocktail dresses as well as bridesmaid dresses, shoes, jewelry and more.[13][14]

Advertising and Promotion[edit]

White House | Black Market’s marketing program consists of the company’s loyalty program (WHBM Rewards), direct marketing efforts (direct mail, email), national print and broadcast advertising, internet and direct phone sales, social media marketing, and public relations and community outreach programs.[15]

Rewards Program[edit]

In fiscal 2014, WHBM re-launched its rewards program as WHBM Rewards. The program includes tier-based discounts, special promotions, free shipping and invitations to private sales based on customer’s annual spend.[16]


White House Black Market, Green Oak Village Place

White House | Black Market currently operates more than 440 boutiques and over 60 outlets across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands.[17]

The opening of a White House | Black Market store in Toronto, Canada on October 24, 2014 was the first push toward international expansion for Chico’s brands.[18] As of January 31, 2015 White House | Black Market had five stores across Canada.[19]

In the Public Spotlight[edit]

White House | Black Market gained notoriety in 2008 when Michelle Obama wore the brand’s Tank Leaf Print Dress as a cohost of TV talkfest The View. Virtually overnight, the dress (priced at $148) all but sold out at White House | Black Market boutiques.[20][21]


White House | Black Market casts famous models in their commercials and marketing campaigns.[22]

In 2012, the company’s TV ad starred supermodel Coco Rocha in a commercial directed by Johan Renck. The spot featured Coco tap dancing in over a dozen outfits from the company’s WorkKit collection.[23]

White House | Black Market has also worked with models Alyssa Miller, Linda Voitova, Michaela Kocianova, and Naty Chabenenko (Holiday 2012), Anne Vyalitsyna, (Spring/Summer 2013), Bette Franke, and Lakshmi Menon (model), (Holiday 2011) and Ali Stephens(Spring/Summer 2011) among others.[24]


In 2007, Donna M. Noce stepped into the role of White House | Black Market brand President. Prior to taking her position at White House | Black Market, Noce served as President of Ann Taylor LOFT and also spent time at Lerner New York Division of Limited, Inc. and Petrie Stores Corporation.[25]<

In 2014, Miki Racine Berardelli joined Chico’s FAS, Inc., as the Executive Vice President — President, Digital Commerce, Chief Marketing Officer. She joined Chico’s FAS, Inc. from Tory Burch, where she served as Chief Marketing Officer. Prior, Racine Berardelli was Senior Vice President of Marketing at Ralph Lauren [26]

David F. Dyer has held the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of the Chico’s FAS Corporation since January 2009, after serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Tommy Hilfiger Corporation. Mr. Dyer also served as President and CEO of Land’s End from 1998 to 2002.[27]


White House | Black Market continues to support the efforts of Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC), Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) and Dress For Success.[28]

White House | Black Market began their partnership with Ardmore, Pennsylvania-based LBBC in 2004. The organization is a national non-profit group dedicated to empowering women with breast cancer. By 2006, the company became LBBC’s largest and most valued corporate contributor. In the years since their relationship began, Chico’s FAS, Inc. has raised $3.2 for LBBC.

In 2010, with the help of White House Black Market’s Brand President, Donna Noce, WHBM founded the Dress for Success Southwest Florida affiliate based in Fort Myers, Florida. Every year since, White House | Black Market has supported the organization with donations of $10K annually. Dress for Success was founded in 1997 and has expanded to more than 135 cities in 16 countries and is uniquely positioned as a global leader in women's employment assistance, helping underprivileged women by providing professional attire.

In April, 2015, Chico’s FAS announced the launch of its fifth May is for Miracles Campaign benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals®—a multi-faceted program to raise funds for the 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) across the United States and Canada. Since 2011, Chico’s FAS, Inc., has raised over $5 million for Salt Lake City-based CMN Hospitals.[29]


  1. ^ "Chico’s FAS Inc Annual Report" (PDF). Edgar Online. Retrieved April 7, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Company Overview of White House Black Market". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved April 15, 2015. 
  3. ^ "The White House Inc. History". Funding Universe. Retrieved April 15, 2015. 
  4. ^ "The White House Inc. History". Funding Universe. Retrieved April 15, 2015. 
  5. ^ "The White House Inc. History". Funding Universe. Retrieved April 15, 2015. 
  6. ^ "White House Black Market About Us". White House Black Market. Retrieved April 23, 2015. 
  7. ^ "No Shades of Gray At Chico’s FAS". Investor’s Business Daily. Retrieved April 20, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Chico’s signs $90M Deal to Buy the White House Inc". Direct Marketing News. Retrieved April 20, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Our Brands White House Black Market". Chico’s FAS Inc. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  10. ^ "White House Black Market Store". White House Black Market. Retrieved April 15, 2015. 
  11. ^ "White House Black Market Store". White House Black Market. Retrieved April 15, 2015. 
  12. ^ "White House Black Market Store". White House Black Market. Retrieved April 15, 2015. 
  13. ^ "4 Ways to Wear the Genius Dress". White House Black Market. Retrieved April 22, 2015. 
  14. ^ "White House Black Market Introduces Wedding and Event Boutique". News OK. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Chico’s FAS Inc Advertising and Promotion". Retrieved April 8, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Chico’s FAS Inc Annual Report" (PDF). Edgar Online. Retrieved April 7, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Our Brands White House Black Market". Chico’s FAS Inc. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Chico’s White House Black Market Enters Canadian Market". Retail Solutions Online. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Chico’s FAS Inc Annual Report" (PDF). Edgar Online. Retrieved April 7, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Michelle Obama Makes $148 Frock a Fashion Smash". Today. Retrieved April 7, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Shop for Michelle Obama’s Style". About Style. Retrieved April 17, 2015. 
  22. ^ "White House Black Market Models". Models. Retrieved April 7, 2015. 
  23. ^ "White House Black Market Spring 2012 Work Kit Commercial Starring Coco Rocha". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 7, 2015. 
  24. ^ "White House Black Market Models". Models. Retrieved April 7, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Donna Noce on the Power of Personalized Customer Relationships". Wharton University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved April 7, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Miki Racine Berardelli to Join Chico’s FAS Inc, as President of Digital Commerce and Chief Marketing Officer". Market Watch. Retrieved April 17, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Chico’s FAS Management". Chico’s FAS. Retrieved April 7, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Chico’s FAS Inc Press Release Details". Chico’s FAS. Retrieved April 17, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Chico’s FAS Inc Press Release Details". Chico’s FAS. Retrieved April 17, 2015. 

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