Ascena to Close Newly Acquired Fashion Bug

Fashion Bug fails to make the cut at larger Ascena Retail Group

Suffern, NY—Ascena Retail Group said Friday its had completed its Charming Shoppes takeover for about $900 million, an acquisition that adds Lane Bryant and Catherines Plus Sizes to Ascena’s dressbarn and maurices stores.

All combined, Ascena now boasts 3,800 retail locations and “on a trailing 12 month basis, generated over $4.4 billion of combined net sales.”

But not all the Charming Shoppes brands will remain. Ascena said “based on the results of its strategic review of Charming Shoppes’ operations, it plans to cease operating and close down Charming Shoppes’ Fashion Bug business by early 2013.”

Last year, Charming Shoppes closed 124 Fashion Bug stores. Charming Shoppes had previously announced its intention to continue to close certain Fashion Bug stores.

In addition, Ascena announced that it is exploring a potential sale of Charming Shoppes’ Figi’s business, which markets food and specialty gift products. Although the Figi’s business is a growing and profitable business, it is clearly a different type of business than Ascena’s other apparel brands.

“We believe that we have a significant opportunity to fully realize the significant potential of this business,” said David Jaffe, Ascena’s president/ceo. “The Lane Bryant and Catherine’s businesses are extremely complementary to our other concepts and we expect them to integrate seamlessly. Though this process will take time, we believe there is an excellent opportunity to streamline the business, capture efficiencies and to share resources.”

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