As Chico’s FAS focuses on its omnichannel strategy, the apparel retailer has announced it will close at least 250 stores in the U.S. to “rebalance the mix between its physical store presence with its digital network.”
The closures will happen over a three-year period and occur across the company’s three brands — Chico’s, Soma and White House Black Market. The retailer operates 1,431 stores in the U.S. and Canada. Chico’s said the shutterings will allow it to take advantage of lease expirations, while improving profitability and return on invested capital.
Building upon management's strategic decision to right-size its fleet, the company has commenced a comprehensive review of its operations to ensure that the business is structured for innovation, agility and speed. Chico’s said this comprehensive review will further include an assessment of SG&A expenses and business processes across the entire organization.
"Our focus is on implementing those initiatives that drive the greatest levels of growth and profitability of our business,” said CEO and president Shelley Broader. “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."
Chico’s said it has made significant progress in developing an integrated omnichannel platform with advanced capabilities to modernize, digitize and personalize the customer experience. The company’s investments in technology include a shared inventory system, endless aisle, Client Book and BOPIS (Buy Online Pick Up in Store). The company has also forged key partnerships with ShopRunner, Amazon and QVC.
As a result, Chico’s said it now has the technology and tools in place to capture and stay connected with its eight million customers in new ways, whether in-store, online or virtually, and to fully activate its omnichannel strategy.