This iconic clothing chain is closing 40 locations this year

Most of us have a trusted brand or favorite store that we rely on for our wardrobe. Maybe you’ve been shopping at Macy’s since you started shopping for clothes, or you prefer a quick trip to Old Navy for some fun but affordable upgrades. Simply put, if you’re looking to update your seasonal staples or keep up with the latest trends, there are clothing retailers that have a proven track record. Now an iconic clothing chain has announced that it will be closing a significant number of stores this year, meaning you may need to find a new place to shop in the coming months. Read on to find out which classic clothing company is closing 40 stores.

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Other iconic retailers that have stood the test of time have been forced to close recently, including 70 Sears Hometown stores. Locations across the country have taken to social media to advertise clearance sales, mostly on individual Facebook pages, as Axios reported. Transformco, the company that acquired Sears and Kmart in 2018, has not officially announced the closures or confirmed which Sears Hometown stores will be closing permanently.

Another clothing retailer, more popular with young people, also announced it would be closing stores this year. On March 31, it was reported that 240 H&M stores would be closed. The fashionable retailer was reportedly badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and later by the spread of the Omicron variant and “extensive restrictions” in some countries.

And while it’s already hard to say goodbye to these locations, shoppers are now facing yet another closure announcement.

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If you regularly shop at Chico’s or White House Black Market (WHBM), you may be dismayed to learn that the retailer has announced plans to close a total of 40 stores in fiscal 2022. These popular stores are go-to destinations for women, selling a wide variety of clothing, jewelry and accessories. Chico’s dates back to 1983 when it was founded in Sanibel, Florida. The White House was founded two years later in Baltimore, Maryland, and a new concept store, the Black Market, opened in 1995, according to the company’s LinkedIn. The brand pair was later acquired by Chico’s FAS in 2003.

According to an analysis by Market Screen, the stores that are closing are mostly “underperforming, mall-based Chico’s and WHBM stores.” The report did not indicate specific locations to close, or when exactly they would close.

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Shop closing signs in the window

In an earnings call on June 7, PJ Guidochief financial officer of Chico’s FAS, confirmed that the number of Chico’s and WHBM stores has increased from 1,410 to 1,264 since 2019. Despite – or perhaps because of – this 10% reduction, the company has seen an increase of its revenues, up 4.5% in the first quarter, compared to 2019. Guido also confirmed that the closure of exactly 40 stores was not set in stone.

“While we are targeting up to 40 store closures in the Chico’s and White House Black Market, store performance continues to improve, and that number will remain a moving target,” Guido said.

soma shop
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Guido said the company has no plans to open any more Chico’s or WHBM stores, but that’s not all bad news. The CFO noted that plans are underway to open additional Soma stores, which primarily sell women’s underwear and sleepwear.

“Going forward, we expect to open up to 30 Soma standalone stores in the second half of the year,” Guido said on the earnings call. The retailer has currently identified 28 locations for new Soma stores and is looking for two more, Guido added when answering a question from an analyst.

Molly LangensteinPresident and CEO of Chico’s FAS, said Soma “recorded its seventh consecutive quarter of growth over the prior year” and recorded a 0.5% increase over the quarter last year .

“Soma’s growth continues to significantly outpace the non-sports bras and panties market for the quarter. We have a strong position in core replenishment, bras and panties inventory so we can meet the needs of our customers,” Langenstein said, adding that the company is also focusing on digital assets that “have driven increased traffic and customers” to Soma, as well as WHBM and Chico’s.

READ NEXT: This iconic retailer is closing over 70 locations, starting now.

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