Charming Shoppers in all Sizes


Share on LinkedIn

Lost in the recent news about Charming Shoppes closing 10 percent of its stores is whether this decision will have any bearing on its loyalty programs.

Charming, the parent of Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Cacique, announced March 30 it would shutter 240 of its 2,064 stores. About half those closings will occur in the Fashion Bug chain. The announcement followed by one week a report of worse-than-expected losses in the fourth quarter, as well as the appointment of Anthony Romano as CEO. Romano had been serving as acting CEO since October.

Charming operates loyalty programs for its Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines chains, some of which are fee-based. Generally, like many programs, the rewards members earn points for purchases using the private-label credit card, and can then redeem them for merchandise coupons upon the accumulation of a specified number of points.

The retailer, in its March 24 annual report, states that it accrues for discounts earned and not yet issued and discounts issued but not yet redeemed based on an analysis of historical redemption patterns.

As for what the rewards deliver – looks like the pattern is shrinking.

In fiscal 2010, Charming said revenue in connection with its loyalty card programs slipped to $18.7 million from $19.7 million in 2009, and from $20.9 million in 2008. Total sales in 2010, meanwhile, dipped to $2.062 billion from $2.065 billion.

With various programs at its different chains, Charming may want to consider consolidating all its programs under one umbrella and offering its loyal shoppers the chance to redeem their rewards at any of its nameplates. The shift might not only encourage shoppers to join and then use their loyalty cards, but also to visit more of its stores, more frequently.

Lisa Biank Fasig
Lisa leads the creation of editorials and feature stories for COLLOQUY and oversees the work of contributing editors and writers. With 18 years of reporting experience, most in business and specifically consumer behavior, she is highly skilled at researching data and teasing out the trends. A background in graphic design enables her to see ideas in three dimensions and tell the story visually.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here