Is Apparel in Trouble?

Today we have the announcement of yet another round of store closures. This time it is 150 stores by Charming Shoppes, the owner of the Fashion Bug, Lane Bryant and Catherines Plus Size chains.

Charming Shoppes has had rough sales results lately, with all of its chains posting year over year comparable-sales drop of 7% during the nine weeks ended Jan. 5. Of the closures, 100 of them will be Fashion Bugs, and Charming Shoppes is also shutting down all four retail stores under its Petite Sophisticate banner, though that chain’s 54 outlet units will stay open.

This move follows Ann Taylor’s announcement last week that it is closing stores. Additionally, Talbots is shutting its men’s and children’s chains, and Liz Claiborne is shutting its 54-store Sigrid Olsen.

Simon Property Group Chairman and CEO David Simon didn’t seem during a conference call last week that he was overly concerned about mass store closings in his malls this year. But does the Charming Shoppes announcement make a big difference? And if it does, what are some other apparel retailers that we could see closing units?

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2 Responses to “Is Apparel in Trouble?”


  1. 1 Christina February 7, 2008 at 10:27 am

    You will find that many of the stores closing serve the 35-40+ set, female set. Those are the stores I would shop in. I find it increasingly difficult to shop when the real fault is not because of lack of money. I am a homeowner and I find what really sucks retail money out of my pocket is the constant electricity and utility bills, gas bills every month at high rates. I feel that they are taking the money we should have to shop, and until these companies are regulated better they will continue to rob the retailers of the joy they should experience.

  2. 2 big and tall stores July 23, 2009 at 12:55 am

    This leaves online shopping as the best place to find the big and tall apparel , which gives people like me more options.


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