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Are Fashion Bug/Lane Bryant/Catherine’s store closings rumours true?

28th November 2008

Are Fashion Bug/Lane Bryant/Catherine’s store closings rumours true?

posted in Fashion |

Without my nephews to play with at Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, I spent much of the time talking with my husband’s mom and her sisters. Shopping, naturally, came up. Brandon’s aunt mentioned that she isn’t buying store-specific gift cards this year because of an email she received cautioning consumers that many popular stores are closing or have imminent plans to close, including Charming Shoppe stores Fashion Bug, Lane Bryant and Catherines. My google fu turned up the email, which reads that the trio of stores are set to close 150 stores nationwide this year. Other stores are on the list, too, like Cache, J. Jill, Talbot’s, the Gap, Macy’s, Foot Locker, Pacific Sun and Dilliards.

According to Snopes.com, Charming Shoppes has closed 150 of its approximately 2,630 outlets. ABC news doesn’t address the Charming Shoppes family, but refutes the purported closings of other stores. The 150-store closing notice isn’t exactly new news, though. The company released this information in a February statement. According to it, about 100 of those store closings are of underperforming Fashion Bug stores, 40 Lane Bryants and 10 Catherines. Nearly 100 closings have now been made, with the rest scheduled to close by Jan. 31. The company also closed its Petite Sophisticate retail brand altogether, although it retained about 52 Petite Sophisticate Outlet stores.

In November amidst depressing third-quarter losses, Charming announced it was discontinuing the Lane Bryant Woman catalog and that it will close 100 more stores next year. These closures are in addition to the 150 stores on the chopping block for this year, for a total of 250 store closings by the end of 2010. No word on the retail breakdown of these additional store closings. The company also plans to reduce its new store openings budget by half and its relocation budget by 20 percent.

So, should you buy gift cards for Fashion Bug/Lane Bryant/Catherine’s stores? You can always spend them online (Check PrettyPear.com for online sale offerings), but if you want to spend them in a brick-and-mortar store, it depends on where you live and how your local store is performing. Perhaps a better idea for those plus-size fashionistas on your holiday shopping lists might be to get them Visa or Mastercard giftcards instead this year.

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There are currently 63 responses to “Are Fashion Bug/Lane Bryant/Catherine’s store closings rumours true?”

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  1. 1 On November 28th, 2008, Elizabeth said:

    It is hard enough finding clothes that I like, in fashion, and that I can afford in my size. Lane Bryant especially was the saving grace. Cute clothes that I could afford and I didn’t have to dress like my grandma. That makes me really sad.

  2. 2 On November 28th, 2008, s said:

    I don’t know if it’s the same email (I haven’t gotten the hoax email), but Eddie Bauer and Ann Taylor both sent out emails saying to ignore a viral email telling customers not to buy gift cards due to store closings. They said that the email was malicious in nature and not based on any factual information.

    After a mini email search, I found this: “It has come to our attention that misleading information is circulating via email as part of a hoax intended to discourage consumers from buying gift cards from a number of retailers including Eddie Bauer. We want to set the record straight (followed by reassuring corporate babble).”

    So! You be the judge, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a false rumor.

  3. 3 On November 28th, 2008, twilightriver said:

    Was there indication that there is a way to find out which locations are on the chopping block?

    The ONLY places I can buy clothes my size are a Fashion Bug a 40 minute bus ride away and a Lane Bryant that’s half a day’s bus ride away (one way, so I have to pack three meals and don’t get home until late at night when I leave early morning.)

    I have to scour those two stores for anything that’s 100% cotton or mostly cotton with a bit of spandex because I’m allergic to polyester. Then, I have to try on each thing I find because even if I think the cut will fit, it might not. I have one of those “atypical” bodies.

    So, I can’t afford to shop for stuff online and ship stuff back to retailers when it doesn’t fit. Even if the shipping is free, I have to buy tape for boxes and still have to find a way to print a return label. Online shops are getting better about pre-printing their labels, but the bus rides cost less than initial shipping fees and return shipping materials.

    It would be really helpful to know if either or both are going out of business. I really don’t know what I’ll do if they do, but it would be nice to know before I waste a day on a bus finding out that they’ve already been closed.

    I can only afford to shop once or twice per year, so the shop girls won’t know well enough in advance to tell me unless I have really lucky timing. And yeah, it takes me a whole year to save up the $150 I get to spend on clothes each year.

    Thank you for the heads up.

  4. 4 On November 28th, 2008, Rachel said:

    Twilightriver: You can try emailing Charming Shoppes for more information, but I doubt they’ll respond. And after working for a subsidiary of Charming Shoppes years ago, I doubt corporate gives much advance notice to stores they’re considering closing, so even calling the stores might not be much help. My experiences with Charming Shoppes’ corporate office is that they keep most of their employees in the dark about major company decisions, including layoffs. When they did layoffs at the Charming company I used to work for, it came as a complete shock to everyone, and security walked newly laid off folks out the door within 20 minutes of them getting the notice.

    Rest assured, Charming isn’t going out of business — after all, they’re the number one plus-size retailer in the nation. According to the company reports, just announcing the closings caused their stock prices to go up. It looks like they’re just doing a very thorough company cleaning to eliminate those stores that aren’t profitable and to streamline the operations of all its recently acquired brands. Frankly, considering the correlations between obesity and class, I’ve always thought Charming would do more business if it didn’t price its clothes so out of reach of the very plus-size demographic they’re targeting most.

  5. 5 On November 29th, 2008, Lindsay B said:

    I work in a Catherine’s, and while there have been some major cutbacks lately, I’m pretty sure my boss would be bringing it up if she thought we were going under. I have the feeling that because of the piss-poor economy, they ARE trimming the slack; any stores not doing enough.

    Here’s the thing- if you want to keep your local Catherine’s/Lane Bryant/Fashion bug open, I suggest getting the cards. Those cards are used as a measure of success for the company and corporate offices, and any place that isn’t getting any cards- Perks OR accounts- will be cut.

  6. 6 On November 29th, 2008, purpleshinycrafter said:

    twilightriver: you should be able to look up the stores’ phone numbers online and call ahead to make sure they’re still open.

  7. 7 On November 29th, 2008, Linda said:

    When in doubt about e-mail, I go to the online Bible, Snopes.com:

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/storeclosings.asp

    There take on it is mixed. Glean what you will.

  8. 8 On November 29th, 2008, Pani said:

    All the more reason to buy well made durable clothes that will last along time. We will be seeing quite a few stores go under.

  9. 9 On November 30th, 2008, Jackie said:

    So this means the only place left to shop will be Torrid then? You know, it’s not like other stores will suddenly get a brain and realize they could increase their income by growing up, and accepting the reality that people come in all shapes and sizes and that is okay.

  10. 10 On December 1st, 2008, twincats said:

    I like Avenue better than any of those stores listed (but only for tops.) But to support your favorite, in addition to buying their gift cards, I’d suggest that you go ahead and sign up for snail mail and/or email sales notices. I work in retail and we get more or less employee hours partially based on how many mailer sign ups we get each week.

    As a cashier, I also get to redeem quite a few of those Visa/Mastercard/Amex gift cards and I can tell you that in our stores, if your balance doesn’t cover your purchase, our system won’t take them. Plus, there are the fees. I will never give or buy them and I hope I never receive one.

  11. 11 On December 1st, 2008, Ntrigue said:

    http://www.fashionbug.com/pagebuilder/112908_email_letter_FB?mkcl=436904&jrl=010004369046565001540&source=800479&clk=60588

  12. 12 On December 2nd, 2008, Jackie said:

    Thanks for the link. I’m so glad everything is fine, and the stores will stay open. :D

  13. 13 On December 3rd, 2008, sandy said:

    I work at Lane Bryant and we have heard nothing about which stores are closing. Not all of them are but dont be surprised if you go there one day and its gone….

  14. 14 On December 3rd, 2008, Rachel said:

    I don’t doubt that, Sandy. Like I said before, we had no idea whatsoever that layoffs were even bein considered until corporate fell the ax. Considering that Charming has just over 2,500 stores total, the 250 store closures represents a 10 percent closure across the board. I don’t think they’re going out of business by far, but closing 10 percent of your stores is quite significant.

  15. 15 On December 13th, 2008, katie said:

    It is hard for a specific store to know that it is closing in advance. Being that I worked for Fashion Bug for 9 years, and one day out of the blue my D.M. had a store meeting were she told the management staff that in 6 weeks our store location would be closing. My store closing was baffling to all of the staff members. Our sales profitablity was at the top of the list, our inventory was top notch, and our customer service was unbelieveably awesome. Fashion Bug is a wonderful store with a variety of sizes and clothing selections, the leaders of Charming Shoppes in my opinon is trying to get rid of the low price store( Fashion Bug) to make room for more Lane Bryant’s. Now that Dorrit Bern is not President any more who knows it might just get better!!!!

  16. 16 On January 3rd, 2009, kathy said:

    I currently work for a Fashion Bug store that is doing quite well, however in the past I worked for a store that ended up closing. Like one of the other comments I saw, our DM came in one morning to tell us that our store was closing and that liquidation was going to begin that day. It was quite shocking considering the company president had been at our store 2 days before and was impressed with the store. Charming Shoppes is not a company you can fully trust for job security, you can be on the chopping block for no reason at all. I’m sure if any stores are on the list to close, the associates will find out the same day that the customers do.

  17. 17 On January 15th, 2009, E. Allen, Phinney said:

    Just this week, My wife was given notice that after 20years of excellent service to charming shops of deleware, (Fashion bug) her full time position was being taken from her,all of her benefits, and most of her hours will be taken from her after February 1st 2009… I was diagnosed with cll a type of cancer, and am fighting for my life, my wife was paying for my life insurance, I don’t think that she will be able to afford it now because of what Fashion Bug is doing to it’s people at this store I think that this store should not be able to do this to it’s employees this is very wrong no matter what their cicumstances, this goes to show that big business is more worried about it’s bottom line than it’s workers,I myself cannot ever forgive this store for USING MY WIFE FOR 20 YEARS THEN DISCARDING HER LIKE A USELESS OLD RAG!!!my wife is a very beautiful person of God and I hope that God takes all of the money she has helped them make and buries it with their junk clothing that they sell, at their SO CALLED sales.I generaly keep my mouth shut but this made me mad as heck, what a store I won’t buy a thing from them ever again they don’t deserve good workers OR! good customers.May God help their workers to find new jobs and well..you know where that place can go. E. Allen Phinney

  18. 18 On January 17th, 2009, Daisy said:

    We lost three out of 4 Lane Bryant stores that I know of (within the past 6 months). Just today, the only one left anywhere near me has announced it is closing. (The employees denied any plans of closing when I asked numerous times during the past few months.) I am beginning to suspect that Charming Shoppes is going the way of Circuit City and other major retailers. According to the signs posted in my local store, EVERYTHING is on sale. The store is closing in March. The regular employees that I’ve dealt with in the past are no longer there, and there are no new clothes coming into the store.

  19. 19 On January 18th, 2009, Barb said:

    I just got a 70% off Liquadation Sale on 323 Lane Bryant items. I thought this read very oddly. Made me thing they were going under. Maybe?

  20. 20 On January 19th, 2009, E.Allen Phinney said:

    To Daisy; Do you! really think that the those poor workers are going to tell another person, especially a regular customer, that the store will be closing? those workers are probably afraid to open their mouths right now, they could be next in line, I don’t beleive in unions but charming shop workers should have unionized YEARS!! ago, maybe some of their jobs could have been saved,That place needs a new C E O the old one was bad enough, this new one is just as rotton to the workers as the old one, they just use! their workforce as far as I can see, I may be on my way out but I still have my freedom of speech as long as I am allowed to live, may my “lord JESUS and his father GOD” be with all of the workers in this country, because they are not fully apreciated for their lifes blood that they put into these horribly run companys,The people higher up get large sums of money, just more or less given to them year by year,while the little people make them what they are,only to be kicked in the behind, no wonder our jobs are going over to other countrys.We have a wonderful new president about to take office, and with Gods help and the help of the True American people,we can change this attitude of bottom line first, and to heck with what the worker thinks. E. Allen Phinney

  21. 21 On January 19th, 2009, Daisy said:

    To E. Allen Phinney, I thought about what you posted and have to agree. I pointed out the other closings to the employees that were there. They continued to state that Charming Shoppes was just reworking their stores and that they expected some stores to be eliminated and combined into bigger stores. When I asked how long they had been at this store they replied 9 months and 2 months, respectively. I asked where they would be transferred to, which store would they be working at. Neither one could or would answer me. I felt so bad for them. One was moved from another store that she worked at about 6 months ago to this store. Now she said she’s not sure where she will be. I suspect it’s not ‘where’ she will be, but ‘when’ she will be let go. I wish you all the best in your fight against cancer, and I also hope that this country can finally see what has truly happened because of plain greed. May our new President have all the support from every American that he needs to see that this country is what is should be. The country that my father fought for in WWII, the country that we should be proud of. God Bless!

  22. 22 On January 19th, 2009, Jamie said:

    Hello ladies, I too worked for charming shoppes Inc., and I just lost my job as well. I was with the company for a good amount of years and had devoted about 55 to 70 hours/week running their store to have bosses who were nasty and inconsiderate every single day. The district and regional managers I worked for, never cared about your health, family needs or well being. There are so many managers and assistant managers that really hate their jobs and the district/regional managers but they are really afraid to jump from one hell to another. Imagine being threatened every day by your district manager and regional manager that if you do not make your plan sales, credit goal, bra fit goal , intimate apparel goal they will find other people to replace you. This is how the leaders in the new york area motivate their managers; (with threats); No one took into consideration the blizzard that day.I can honestly say that they actually did me a favor by letting me go, for the first time in years I am actually resting without getting phones calls from my district manager to cut my vacation short and go back to my store because it is not to her standards. The company has been going down hill ever since charming shoppes took it over; when lane bryant was operated by the “Limited”, employees felt a sense of value. Recently in January 2009, the company sent out severence letters to every manager and full time employees as a heads up that anyone of you that sign this form have been warned that you could be next in losing your job. I tell everyone now, do not even waste your money shopping at any Lane Bryant, Catherines or Fashion bug because there are better places like Walmart, Khols, JC penny, Macys, Torrid, and many other places to choose from. Better yet, do not even think about working for this company. Charming shoppes Inc. is modern day SLAVERY and I can say this because I experienced the turmoil of working for them and beleiving their lies and false expansion promises for many years.

  23. 23 On January 21st, 2009, Olivia said:

    “Hey something must be in the water with Charming Shoppes today, I too was let go!”
    Yep, just called and told oh by the way you had a customer complaint and we are letting you go…what, no one asked me anything about it or if it was even true! After speaking with a district mgr I was told well with the slumping economy and stores not doing good, we are going to cut back hours of everyone in every store and let folks go…okay, so are u going out of business? I just marked down 8 pages of items in the store last week, not much left not on sale! Terrible place to work, no communication, half the sales staff come into work looking homeless or wearing items that are far too tight for plus size girls! They are constantly eating, running in the back to grab chips, cookies, or candy and coming back to the floor with their mouths full of food. No professionalism at all. Only concern is how many poor saps can u get to fill out a credit application and get rejected so you can get brownie points with corporate…never buy anything full price it always goes on sale, and there are always coupons at the register, be sure to ask for one…

  24. 24 On January 21st, 2009, Barb said:

    I worked at a Lane Bryant and all part timers were allowed only 12-15 hours a week also known as 4 hour days. Good for some but you can’t make it on that alone. I know one store up in a mall closed before the holdiay. So who knows. The team Iworked with were very nice, curteous and professional and great sense of respect for each employee. the store manager and ass’t manager set the tone and these gals were great. I just had to leave before the holiday due to health.

  25. 25 On January 21st, 2009, E.Allen Phinney said:

    Hi people; Well it has happened, they notified my wife Feb. 1st,will be her part time starting day Right! The DM came in the other day and told the manager of the store to do it this She is checking to see if they can just come in and move the date up she dosen’t think so, my wifes manager is a sweetie, she is doing all that she can to help, but now, in round about way they find out that charming is going to be leaving and another store will be moving in, of coarse no word yet from the higher ups, but the stores in the mall all know and it’s all over town. what a bunch of cowards, I hope none of the people that run these stores ever get into the military to protect the rest of us, the country would REALLY be in a pickle. E.Allen Phinney

  26. 26 On January 21st, 2009, Rachel said:

    Sorry to hear that EAP. I feel for ya — my hubby was just told yesterday that he had to take a 15 percent pay cut for at least 6 months, possibly longer, and my company is making everyone take five days unpaid furlough between now and the end of March.

  27. 27 On January 21st, 2009, E.Allen Phinney said:

    Woulden’t it be nice if the new president, would take all of that billions of dollars and bail out every man, woman and child in this country instead of the banks and wall st. Then we would all be solvent again and have money in the credit unions, that by the way, are in no need of being bailed out,they are to smart to try to pull a fast one on their depositors, the depositors own the company, also we would all know where the billions went . TO A GOOD CAUSE! (What a thought)

  28. 28 On January 23rd, 2009, Claudia said:

    It would be very bad if Catherine’s would close. I have enjoyed shopping there for years. Catherine’s has very nice fashions and the sale prices are great, too. It is hard to find a PLUS SIZE store and I can speak for lots of women that would say the same! The quality of Catherine’s clothing can’t be beat. I hope for all the workers and customers that Catherine’s and all other PLUS SIZE stores DO NOT close!

  29. 29 On January 23rd, 2009, Geni said:

    I realize there is a lot of hostility in the retail environment. Charming Shoppes like other retailers has had to downsize to fit the current economic situtuions. Just like all of us have adjusted how we spend to support our own needs. I have been a Charming Shoppes DSM for 18 years. The least favorite portion of my job is to announce closings or cut backs. For the first time in years the corporate office had a huge hit in staffing. Reductions were across the board. I lost many of my friends in those cuts. It is the nature of the beast to make cuts when the business gets tough. No one should ever feel like they were discarded. I am thankful for all of the people who sacraficed themselves for the greater good of our organization over all. I feel those sacrafices truly impacted their lives & yet I also hear from them they HOPE their ol’ alma motter of CHARMING SHOPPES survive this very tough economic pitfall. They were some of the building blocks that grew this company. Obvioulsy they feel the crunch of their job losses but like TRUE TEM PLAYERS even when they left the team they wished nothing bad on the company & the people that are still here. That is what it means to be a REAL ASSET to a company. The mark they have left on all of us is testimony to what they contributed. For the bitter who have parted…I would consider your life. What good this company has done in your life & your development? I bet in most cases there was a lot of time spent on enjoyment. Not every job will be your dream job. Not every moment will be pleasant BUT look back on your past & just know that even though you may not always feel it. YOU MATTERED! Every hour you gave up to be away from your family, every moment you stopped on the side of the road & took a call from your team, every moment you shared your mind & your back….it all mattered. I’d like to think that in the case if I ever left my career @ Fashion Bug that what I did would have mattered. As for the things I didn’t like well……I’d like to leave those moment behind me as HINDSIGHT of what it takes to make difficult decisions & sometimes NOT be LIKED by everyone.
    I also want to thank all the past Charming Employees for their efforts to make a difference. You were & are appreciated! In the end…..you should know that!

  30. 30 On January 23rd, 2009, Jane said:

    WOW – if you lost your job today in the economic pitfall of an economy that we have -
    do you not think you would somehow be affected? like the couple above dealing with health issues – you just lost your insurance…. or you are a single parent and you have a mortgage – do you think the unemployment can cover that?? wake up – charming’s stock is a $1.04. Forbes predicts Charming to close, if you do not think at the end of how many years you have been there,that you are not going to feel a little bitter. For all that you have dedicated and it was your life, you are truly not a reasonable person. I feel for those workers and it seems all should be handle in a more professional manner. Yes lay offs are happening everywhere, all companies need to wake up when you start replacing knowledge and dedication. What you are left with are employees who do not know what they are doing – think your customer service and sales are suffering now, go and check out one of your stores. How many customers do you have in them? anyone left should start looking now.

  31. 31 On January 24th, 2009, E.Allen Phinney said:

    You can tell, Who are the workers and who are DSM’s, Just by the articals they write, you coulden’t expect anything elce they are probably brain washed,MY WIFE! spent 20 YEARS! of her life in that store, come on now Geni, they don’t give a hoot about my wife or even you! for that matter, when they are finished with you, you will go out the door too. This co. is not a good place even even though they have some excellant people that work for them.The only thing that they care about is the BOTTOM LINE! They just string their people along untill they close the store , sorry but thats the way they are.

  32. 32 On January 25th, 2009, Liza said:

    @ Jamie #22

    This is how the leaders in the new york area motivate their managers

    Are you in NYC? Because I used to work at the 34th St Lane Bryant and it was terrible. I wasn’t a manager, just a lowly sales associate. I got so sick of being harassed about how many stupid credit card applications I was getting, having to explain their deliberately misleading sale signs and getting the third degree if my shoes looked too much like sneakers (no, they are flats, excuse me for not wanting to kill my back on your terrible floor). Not to mention the time they cut my lock because “we weren’t supposed to leave things in lockers overnight” despite the fact that I closed and was opening the next day and live far enough away to make lugging my dressy shoes and other crap back and forth every day a serious hassle.

    That doesn’t even touch on how customers treat you. Ugh.

    I’m glad I left, that was pretty much the worst job I’ve ever had. There were times I actually cried because I so badly didn’t want to go to work.

  33. 33 On January 25th, 2009, Liza said:

    …and no, not one thing I did there was “appreciated.” But you know, thanks, CS, for sending a representative over to pose as a casual commenter.

    I guess it’s no more insulting to our intelligence than the actual jobs.

  34. 34 On January 25th, 2009, E. Allen Phinney said:

    Hi Again; I just wanted to let you ladies know, that there is more in the wind than meets the eye! I have been doing some research because all I have is time anymore, I cannot say anything at this time but will elaborate more on this when the time comes, man if Forbs is talking and has taken notice of this stock, I should really thank someone for helping my wife get out of that place, I sure am happy that she at least has most of her 401k, left I had her move it into bonds before the crash of 2009. ha, ha, we got tired of losing what she had gained, that will at least help her in a few years. after I’m gone, the insurance just took her money,when she leaves she won’t be able to afford it because the about triple the cost, another rip off, man I wonder sometimes!

  35. 35 On January 28th, 2009, journey said:

    I was just on the lanebryantcatalog.com website and they were having a liquidation sale. I did not know they were going out of business. I like their clothes and now they are no longer in business!?!? Well that is a sign, I’m a size 16…..that’s a wakeup call for me. Most stores are having a liquidation sales which is not always a good deal. Oh well life goes on.

  36. 36 On February 1st, 2009, Erica said:

    I work for fashion bug and if you guys are this stressed about fashion bug catherines and lane bryant going under it can all be fixed by you… All the store near you needs to stay a float is your business… It needs you going in there and buying gift cards and shopping… I’m a manager and i see the difference in sales from last year evernight and its sad and its a stressful thing to see in an economy like this. If you really want these stores to stay open then go shop in them and help them out. If you go in and buy just the littlest bit it helps.And the charming shoppes name is based on integrity you would know if the store near you was closing atleast 3 months in advance i believe strongly in the honesty of my company and they are struggling but thier main concern is still focused on thier customers and would not risk losing them just because they couldnt keep one store open.

  37. 37 On February 1st, 2009, kathy said:

    The liquidation sale is for their winter and old spring merchandise..the company isn’t going out of business

  38. 38 On February 1st, 2009, kathy said:

    P.s. Phinney—the Forbs thing wasn*t true either so you don*t know anything that we dont. The company is in the process of suing them for making false acusations. and if something is posted online why can*t you “tell” us what it is that’s so bad, apparantly it isn*t a secret

  39. 39 On February 2nd, 2009, Daisy said:

    Found this article. I wouldn’t know why Charming Shoppes would sue Forbes. The article didn’t state that closing all shops was written in concrete.

    http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2009/01/15/ap5928991.html

    Upon further investigation I can find no article or order stating that Charming is suing Forbes. However, I found numerous articles discussing the dwindling prospect of Charming Shoppes remaining in the market. Little by little it is disappearing, which as we’ve seen with other retailers, is the same pattern of a company getting ready to close it’s doors. I found no false accusations, only monetary reports and analysis by experts.

    Unfortunately the holiday season was a bust for everyone (except Walmart).

    We all hope that Charming Shoppes remains open and profitable. However, I’ve decided I’m not going to hold my breath.

  40. 40 On February 2nd, 2009, Rachel said:

    As a former employee of a Charming subsidiary, I will say this: The current recession has only exacerbated Charming Shoppes’ woes. I worked there from 1997 – 2003 and the company always did poorly, with the exception of when it purchased Lane Bryant. It’s withstood falling stock prices for a long time, so it might be able to withstand this, too. Keep in mind: Charming also receives profits from its Visa and store credit cards and it owns a few chains in the U.K., so its financial interests are vested in other places besides its (failing) stores.

  41. 41 On February 3rd, 2009, Boobs a Lot, N00bs a Lot « fat fu said:

    [...] DDD that runs small, and even that cup size you have only in a few styles? (And then you wonder why you’re going broke?) So when I grumbled about this to my mom, she offered to get me a real titsling with her employee [...]

  42. 42 On February 9th, 2009, cali said:

    just to let you all know i work at catherines in cali they also push us to get those darn perks and charges or else. and i do agree with everyone else they dont care for there employees you can wait to get a promotion doing everything to get the goals and get your store to meet there goals for the year and then they bring in someone else for the job no reasons to why you didnt get it i have worked there for 5 years and filled in every time they need some to come in and can do every aspect of the job but they do what they want and thats the way they are’

  43. 43 On February 23rd, 2009, Sally said:

    They treat their eployees terribly. they are a huge corporate bully. They should go out of business.

  44. 44 On April 21st, 2009, Carmella said:

    I think it’s pretty sad that plus sized women think Lane Bryant is the only place to get *nice* clothing. Target has a great plus section, as does Walmart, Old Navy and a bunch of other stores. Charming Shops is running Lane Bryant into the ground so it’s either time to lose the weight or branch out to other companies.

  45. 45 On April 21st, 2009, Rachel said:

    Carmella: Have you been to a Target recently? At every one I’ve been to, the maternity section is bigger than its plus-size section… and it continues to dwindle. And aren’t we the consumers, here? Why should our options be: Lose weight or go naked? Why are we molding our bodies to fit the clothes we purchase, instead of manufacturers making clothes to fit our bodies?

  46. 46 On June 29th, 2009, Mimi Paquette said:

    WOW! I was also a manager for FB for 13 years. They do not care about their employee’s at all. The constant threat of your job being on the line by your regional or Dm; if you did not beat your sales, shrink, or secret shopper report. This was constant daily stress. I worked like a dog for this company 50 to 60 hours a week, and I would be called in on my vacations. I always made my goals. I was nothing to this company when I injured myself while setting up for one of their many fashion shows. They could of cared less about my health or my welfare. I had a careless DM who all she cared about was that I continue to work so that she did not have to come to the store. For once in my life, I know what it is to have my own time.

  47. 47 On June 30th, 2009, Daisy Flowers said:

    For those concerned about Charming’s Store closings, my adice for you is to apply for charge cards. They are 100% free and charge members recieve sales regular customers do not. I work at Fashion Bug & the most important thing to the company is charges. They are always on us about them. The more charges, the more customers, the better business, the longer we can stay open. Not to mention our hours got cut terribly because our sales are so low & it’s impossible to live on just 9 hours a week.

  48. 48 On June 30th, 2009, Rachel said:

    @Daisy: I appreciate your position, but I would highly recommend NOT getting a credit card through Fashion Bug after having worked for the bank that issued them. The interest rate was at around 23 percent even before the recession and many people have reported having unfair charges tacked on to their statements.

  49. 49 On July 6th, 2009, Jennifer said:

    Hi, I just quit as the assistant for a Catherine’s. I loved the clothes and the customers, but I my hours were cut so low I couldn’t afford to stay any longer. I think that if customers are loyal and stay with Catherine’s, Fashion Bug and Lane Bryant they will stay open. I think that if you get a charge and use it for the extra coupons and discounts and then pay it off at the end of each month before they add interest or late fees, that there is no harm in having the card.

  50. 50 On August 31st, 2009, Candice said:

    I use to work at Fashion Bug. And I always knew that someday that they would eventually close the store where I worked. It was always a #1 sales leader and a charge getter. But when it came to the sales when we really needed it, we failed. And the DM’s aren’t always as helpful as they play to be. They are getting paid to do NOTHING !!!!!!!!!! They show too much favoritism for me. And another thing. They hang out with the employees, they party and drink and who knows whatever.I have met 3 and I worked with them and we got along very well. But I had one that I could’t get along with to save her soul.She was a fake. She had pets in the store to help her do the dirty work against me.And I busted my A** off everyday. But what I regret most is that I didn’t speak up and tell her that her pet could not do visuals…and she could hardly do returns…layaways or sale setups. I DID IT ALL !!!!!!!! It’s a whole lot of stuff that I didn’t tell her that needed to be told. But I kept it to myself to keep peace in the workplace and to save my job, and her’s. I WAS FIRED !!!!!!!!!!!! Mainly because I was not liked by my DM. I can go on and on. But if somebody reads this and I give more detail. They would definately know who I am :) So I had better hush while I’m ahead. Nobody wants to hear the truth. But a lie will go a long way…….. But I AM DOING GOOD NOW !!!!!! I HAVE A GOOD JOB NOW !!!!!! And I’m glad they closed the store after I got fired…….. (sorry) Instead of before ….. now they see who was doin’ what !!!!!!!!!!! Makes ya think now huh???????????????? (HUMM).

    Thanks For listening……. I can write a book about FASHION BUG and it would be one of Oprah’s favorite books…… I have alot to tell !!!!! BYE :)

  51. 51 On August 31st, 2009, Candice said:

    Mimi you hit the nail on the head ….. Careless DM. All they think about $$$$$$ they could care less about the employees. That’s why the are sinking without a bailout. I new this was coming :) They didn’t even try to see if I was telling the truth or was I lying when I got fired. Nobody cared. They just wanted me outta there. I heard that after I was fired, my customers stop coming. I use to go way beyond the call of duty for my customers. Can I say it ??????????? GOOD FOR EM’ They let the good people go for no reason !!!! Need a bailout……… SELL OUT !!!!! :)

  52. 52 On August 31st, 2009, Lisa said:

    Well…… Well…… Well….. What happened to all of the stores in Macon, Georgia ???? We have to go to ATL to shop. What’s up with that? The sales were down that bad to close em’ all up in the Macon area???? I got a card that I can’t even use.As a matter of fact I got my card 2 days before the store in Macon closed. What kinda mess is that!!!!!!! :(

  53. 53 On August 31st, 2009, Lisa said:

    When a company adds another product to there original set up it’s asking to fail. They should have left well enough alone.They have gitano jeans and that took away from the regular jeans that they sold….. Good luck

  54. 54 On September 1st, 2009, Rachel said:

    Since this post has been resurrected… a couple weeks ago Charming Shoppes sold its Fashion Bug/Lane Bryant credit card program to Alliance Data Systems. Profits from the cards account for 33 percent of annual profits, according to a press release issued by Charming. That is indeed a sign of financial instability.

  55. 55 On September 20th, 2009, Kathy said:

    Rachel,
    If you hate this company so much, then why are you commenting on every little thing thats going on in it? You must not hate it that much if you’re keeping up on it. If you know how to run the company so well, then how come you didn’t succeed when you were in it?—move on, it’s getting old you know it all

  56. 56 On September 21st, 2009, Rachel said:

    @Kathy: I never said that I hate Charming Shoppes or any of its stores and I certainly never said that I “ran the company.” I don’t really care for their clothes or some of their business practices, but I don’t hate Charming. I keep up with the company because A) it’s of interest to my readers, and B) I have lots of friends who still work for the Charming subsidiary I used to work for. Why the snide and rude commentary?

  57. 57 On October 6th, 2009, kathleen said:

    Ladies,

    I’ve been sitting here reading all of the postings..So sad…So angry.. I was with Dressbarn for 12 years..i was let go… angry for 24 hrs.but now excited for new opportunities…The company i was with was very financially stable and they are cutting positions left and right..I want to know about charming shoppes health coverage….let me know please

  58. 58 On December 12th, 2009, "Sam" said:

    I was the manager of a Fahion Bug store for nearly 16 years. I loved my job, however I must agree with so many of the above comments about not caring about people, but only the numbers. My “new” dm would frequently remind us that every single one of us is replaceable, and she had no issues in firing people. The constant pressure to meet bra fit goals, credit card goals, sales goals etc. was immense, and ridiculous, and you were constantly threatened with your jobs by your “new and caring” dm. We were notified 3 months prior to our closing via a brief and insensitive phone call that we would be closing our store. We were promised sales bonuses, which we met, and have proof of meeting, and were never paid. I made phone calls, and e-mails were written to no avail. It is clear to me that once you are no longer needed to do the dirty work, you no longer matter to anyone in that company. If you are currently employed by a Fashion Bug and are closing, be sure to save every single document…sales figure paperwork, e-mails etc. to back you up on their “promises.” My store, unfortunately, was not the first to not get paid what they are owed…..

  59. 59 On December 27th, 2009, BlueDogDemocrat said:

    To “Kathy” I have this to say as an interested reader in this thread — go “F” yourself. My wife was left with nearly no options for plus size clothing in the Northern VA area. She holds a professional job that thankfully requires that she work from home — but for the times she has to go out into the real world, she needs to look professional, human and “normal”. Shame on you or thinking this matter is resolved even 50-some-odd posts later rather than as many posts as it takes for this group of readers to get the help they need to ensure they have options. It doesn’t matter if these are retail employees, management, or former customers. There are people here that this mismanaged disaster of a retailer has left hung out here to dry, and even if our host has been kind enough to post the bit of news for us that started all this, the simple fact is it’s effecting thousands of people. Good people. So WE will let you know when we are done with the topic, and you can take your whiny complaining tush and go hide under the rock you hid your head under. If you don’t like it, well then — other more conservative blogs are available. Those blogs are probably run by thin, athletic men who don’t give a damn about their fellow man.

  60. 60 On March 12th, 2010, laura said:

    hi everyone ! i used to work at fashion bug too and i couldn’t stand it . i really busted my butt working there and none of that seemed to matter to the managers. i didn’t like my district managers either . they were rude and they didn’t even say hi or hello to you when they came in . the district managers shouldn’t be rude or mean to get their points across . they can tell what needs to be in a more professional manner. they shouldn’t threaten the workers all of the time because that doesn’t work . it just makes things worse. the district managers should give you advice to help you and to help run the store. threats don’t help. the store that i worked in had a district manager named janet and everyone seemed to hate her, but when i would talk to the managers about her they would say yeah i like her, i get along with her and so on but on the same note they would say how nasty she is and how bad she treats them . i don’t about you guys but i would not like someone who treats me that bad. i got promised hours too and i never received them . i worked really hard because i wanted to show them that i wanted the hours . i would work for them on my days off, the days i requested off, and i would come early and stay late for them and i still didn’t get the hours i deserved. and about charges i know good and well that i did better than most people about getting charges in and that didn’t matter either. over all the associates did way better at getting their charges than the mangers did . i would look at the charge paper about everyday that i worked there and i could see that the associates was doing better. but the managers would lecture the associates about getting charges in and they should looked at themselves a little bit more than the associates. there is one manager i couldn’t stand to work with and i didn’t want to work with and she is part of the reason why i quit and there was another associate who felt the same way . and other people complained about her and one past associate called her a bitch and i was happy that she did because it was true. here is a funny little tid bit . i was at a fair and i ran into someone who used to work at fashion bug and i told her that i quit and she gave me a high five and we had a little laugh over it and she was happy that i quit . and i am too. to work at fashion bug is not even worth it because the pay is crappy, you barely get any hours and some of the managers are just stupid and one should of been fired, because she has left the store unattended at least twice while working with me and she isn’t supposed to leave the store at all and she knows that . if the district manager would of found out she would of been fired, probably. also she was giving out her past word and you are not supposed to do that. but she didn’t get in trouble and i am not surprised. i hate everything about fashion bug, the pay, the hours, and the godawful clothes . the district managers need to change their attitudes because there is absolutely no need to treat your managers like that or any other employees and the same goes for managers too. some managers are just lazy at least the ones that i worked with but i am not saying all of them . if you do work for fashion bug or any other charming chop stores just quit because the company is just a waste of time working for, you deserve better. i do not regret a word that i said about fashion bug or about the company and i am not sorry either . the company as a whole is a joke and so are some the authority figures in the company. but i will say this there is one girl that i enjoyed working with she was a great manager and friend and she was always there when i needed her and i do miss working with her and that is the only thing that i miss .

  61. 61 On July 22nd, 2010, E. Allen Phinney said:

    Hello to you all; Glad to see this thread still going strong,also very happy to report I WAS HEALED OF MY CANCER ! ! praise the lord for that ! Fashion Bug is still going strong in our town, someone had the good sence to see that closing this store that used to be a million dollar store woulden’t help their bottom line, so they fired a few managers and put most others on part time. love ya all keep on livin.

  62. 62 On July 23rd, 2010, B Arkans said:

    I believe that if the public became aware of how the employees of their stores were treated behind the scenes I feel the embarrasement and loss of sales could alter their thinking. But the word has to get out there.

  63. 63 On September 18th, 2010, E. Allen Phinney said:

    Long time no write, had a set back a couple of times but Here I am again , I was just wondering am I alone! in thinking that A store ANY! ! store has the right to all but threaten their employees jobs if they don’t get CHARGES? I don’t think this is fair, It wasen’t on the application when people filled it out ,that if you don’t get your charge quota, your job may in jeopardy, what do you good people think?

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