To find ways to reduce costs and optimize its business, Chico’s FAS plans to study its operations and cut back on its store footprint. The retailer, which has more than 1,400 stores in the U.S. as well as Canada, is looking to shutter 250 stores at a minimum in the United States, Chain Store Age reported.
Chico’s CEO and President Shelley Broader said in an announcement, “Our focus is on implementing those initiatives that drive the greatest levels of growth and profitability of our business ... this includes continued improvement in each of our differentiated brands, increased flexibility and efficiency across our organization, and fully leveraging the capabilities of our robust omnichannel platform to meet the ever-evolving needs of our customers and to enhance shareholder value.”
With the store closings, which are said to involve its Soma, Chico’s and White House Black Market brands, the company hopes to benefit from lease expirations as well as return on capital and better profitability. At the same time, the retailer is said to have begun looking to bolster efficiencies with a review of its operations.
The news comes as Chico’s FAS was set to sell its merchandise on Amazon.com’s site, it was reported in April. In an announcement at the time, Broader said, “Chico’s FAS will be one of the few vertically integrated specialty retailers with Prime eligibility on Amazon.com, which is a testament to the strength of our iconic brands and their growth potential.”
Amazon shoppers were to have access to some of the company’s clothing and accessories such as no-iron shirts, jewelry and its athleisure line. The company said it will still make pricing, marketing and promotions decisions. In addition, Chico’s may sell items from its Soma and White House Black Market brands “as the new business channel gains traction,” it was said at the time.