Charming Shoppes Reports March Sales; Announces Agreement to Acquire Website Assets of alight.com

Apr 12, 2001, 01:00 ET from Charming Shoppes, Inc.

    BENSALEM, Pa., April 12 /PRNewswire/ --
 Charming Shoppes, Inc. (Nasdaq: CHRS), the retail apparel chain, today
 reported that total sales for the five weeks ended April 7, 2001 decreased 1%
 to $145,000,000 from $146,500,000 for the five weeks ended April 1, 2000.  The
 current period's total sales for five weeks include $107,300,000 in sales from
 the Fashion Bug stores and $37,700,000 in sales from the Catherines Stores
 Corporation.  Comparable store sales for Charming Shoppes, Inc. decreased 3%
 for the five weeks ended April 7, 2001.
     Sales for the nine weeks ended April 7, 2001 increased to $251,700,000
 from $250,900,000 for the comparable nine week period ended April 1, 2000.
 Total sales for the nine weeks include $183,400,000 in sales from the Fashion
 Bug stores and $68,200,000 in sales from the Catherines Stores Corporation.
     Comparable store sales for Charming Shoppes, Inc. decreased 4% for the
 nine weeks ended April 7, 2001.
 
     Comparable sales by chain for the five and nine week periods ended
 April 7, 2001 were as follows:
 
                                          Comparable Store Sales for
                                     Five Weeks Ended       Nine Weeks Ended
                                      April 7, 2001          April 7, 2001
 
     Fashion Bug Stores                    (4)%                   (6)%
     Catherines Stores Corporation         +4 %                    0 %
     Total Corporation                     (3)%                   (4)%
 
     On sales, Dorrit J. Bern, Chairman and CEO of Charming Shoppes remarked,
 "At both Fashion Bug and Catherines, sales were negatively impacted by
 unseasonably cool weather for the majority of the month.  Some of our most
 difficult comparisons were in warm weather categories such as knit tops,
 shorts, swimwear and sandals.  We were encouraged by our on plan sales
 performance during the last week of the month."
     The Company also announced today that it has entered into an agreement for
 the purchase of the website assets of alight.com, an online retailer
 specializing in plus-size women's apparel.  In addition, key members of the
 alight.com organization will be joining Charming Shoppes, Inc. to support the
 Company's online initiatives.  Closing is expected to occur in the next
 30 days, subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions.
     Bern said, "We are delighted with the acquisition of the website assets of
 alight.com.  This technology platform will accelerate our online marketing and
 ecommerce strategy, which will complement our bricks and mortar brands and our
 ability to communicate with our customers.  Our decision to acquire these
 assets was as a result of a 'build versus buy' analysis with the latter being
 more cost and time effective for us."
 
     Charming Shoppes, Inc. operates 1,772 stores in 48 states under the names
 FASHION BUG(R), FASHION BUG PLUS(R), CATHERINE'S PLUS SIZES(R), THE
 ANSWER(TM), and ADDED DIMENSIONS(R).  During the two months ended April 7,
 2001, the Company opened 24, relocated 14, and closed 6 stores.  Please visit
 www.charmingshoppes.com for additional information about Charming
 Shoppes, Inc.
 
     This release contains certain forward-looking statements concerning the
 Company's operations, performance, and financial condition.  These
 forward-looking statements include statements regarding future performance,
 including earnings, sales performance, store openings and closings, and other
 matters.  Such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and
 uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
 indicated.  Such risks and uncertainties may include, but are not limited to:
 failure to realize merger-related synergies, rapid changes in or
 miscalculation of fashion trends, extreme or unseasonable weather conditions,
 economic downturns, a weakness in overall consumer demand, the ability to hire
 and train associates, the availability of suitable store locations on
 appropriate terms, competitive pressures, and trade restrictions and political
 or financial instability in countries where goods are manufactured, and
 competitive pressures.  These, and other risks and uncertainties, are detailed
 in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission,
 including the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended
 January 29, 2000.
 
 

SOURCE Charming Shoppes, Inc.
    BENSALEM, Pa., April 12 /PRNewswire/ --
 Charming Shoppes, Inc. (Nasdaq: CHRS), the retail apparel chain, today
 reported that total sales for the five weeks ended April 7, 2001 decreased 1%
 to $145,000,000 from $146,500,000 for the five weeks ended April 1, 2000.  The
 current period's total sales for five weeks include $107,300,000 in sales from
 the Fashion Bug stores and $37,700,000 in sales from the Catherines Stores
 Corporation.  Comparable store sales for Charming Shoppes, Inc. decreased 3%
 for the five weeks ended April 7, 2001.
     Sales for the nine weeks ended April 7, 2001 increased to $251,700,000
 from $250,900,000 for the comparable nine week period ended April 1, 2000.
 Total sales for the nine weeks include $183,400,000 in sales from the Fashion
 Bug stores and $68,200,000 in sales from the Catherines Stores Corporation.
     Comparable store sales for Charming Shoppes, Inc. decreased 4% for the
 nine weeks ended April 7, 2001.
 
     Comparable sales by chain for the five and nine week periods ended
 April 7, 2001 were as follows:
 
                                          Comparable Store Sales for
                                     Five Weeks Ended       Nine Weeks Ended
                                      April 7, 2001          April 7, 2001
 
     Fashion Bug Stores                    (4)%                   (6)%
     Catherines Stores Corporation         +4 %                    0 %
     Total Corporation                     (3)%                   (4)%
 
     On sales, Dorrit J. Bern, Chairman and CEO of Charming Shoppes remarked,
 "At both Fashion Bug and Catherines, sales were negatively impacted by
 unseasonably cool weather for the majority of the month.  Some of our most
 difficult comparisons were in warm weather categories such as knit tops,
 shorts, swimwear and sandals.  We were encouraged by our on plan sales
 performance during the last week of the month."
     The Company also announced today that it has entered into an agreement for
 the purchase of the website assets of alight.com, an online retailer
 specializing in plus-size women's apparel.  In addition, key members of the
 alight.com organization will be joining Charming Shoppes, Inc. to support the
 Company's online initiatives.  Closing is expected to occur in the next
 30 days, subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions.
     Bern said, "We are delighted with the acquisition of the website assets of
 alight.com.  This technology platform will accelerate our online marketing and
 ecommerce strategy, which will complement our bricks and mortar brands and our
 ability to communicate with our customers.  Our decision to acquire these
 assets was as a result of a 'build versus buy' analysis with the latter being
 more cost and time effective for us."
 
     Charming Shoppes, Inc. operates 1,772 stores in 48 states under the names
 FASHION BUG(R), FASHION BUG PLUS(R), CATHERINE'S PLUS SIZES(R), THE
 ANSWER(TM), and ADDED DIMENSIONS(R).  During the two months ended April 7,
 2001, the Company opened 24, relocated 14, and closed 6 stores.  Please visit
 www.charmingshoppes.com for additional information about Charming
 Shoppes, Inc.
 
     This release contains certain forward-looking statements concerning the
 Company's operations, performance, and financial condition.  These
 forward-looking statements include statements regarding future performance,
 including earnings, sales performance, store openings and closings, and other
 matters.  Such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and
 uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
 indicated.  Such risks and uncertainties may include, but are not limited to:
 failure to realize merger-related synergies, rapid changes in or
 miscalculation of fashion trends, extreme or unseasonable weather conditions,
 economic downturns, a weakness in overall consumer demand, the ability to hire
 and train associates, the availability of suitable store locations on
 appropriate terms, competitive pressures, and trade restrictions and political
 or financial instability in countries where goods are manufactured, and
 competitive pressures.  These, and other risks and uncertainties, are detailed
 in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission,
 including the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended
 January 29, 2000.
 
 SOURCE  Charming Shoppes, Inc.