Dressbarn owner completes buyout of parent of Lane Bryant, Catherines
SUFFERN, N.Y. — Ascena Retail Group Inc. has completed its buyout of Lane Bryant owner Charming Shoppes Inc. and is taking steps to shed parts of the acquired business that it doesn’t want.
Ascena announced in May that it was buying Charming Shoppes for about $890 million. The deal gives Ascena access to the large-size women’s clothing market with Lane Bryant and Catherines Plus Sizes stores.
But Ascena said Friday it plans to close Charming Shoppes’ remaining Fashion Bug operations by early next year and may sell Charming’s direct marketing business called Figi’s.
Lane Bryant has locations at Northwoods Mall and Tanger Outlet Center, both in North Charleston, and at Mount Pleasant Towne Centre. Catherines has stores on Orleans Road in West Ashley and on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston.
Fashion Bug no longer has an a presence in the Charleston region. Charming Shoppes had closed 124 of its Fashion Bug stores last year. The Charming Shoppes web site says there are about 600 Fashion Bug stores in 43 states.
Ascena also said it is considering selling the profitable and growing Figi’s business because it is not a clear fit with the clothing brands.
Charming Shoppes, based in Bensalem, Pa., also runs Ascena’s Dressbarn and Maurices stores offer clothing for young and older women, while its Justice stores cater to girls ages 7 to 14.
Dressbarn, which one store each in Sdummerville and North Charleston. Justice which has locations at Citadel Mall and Tanger Outlet.
With the deal for Charming Shoppes completed, Suffern, N.Y.-based Ascena runs about 3,800 stores.
Ascena financed the acquisition with available cash and $325 million that it borrowed from credit facilities.
Charming Shoppes will now become an Ascena subsidiary and stopped trading on the Nasdaq and Chicago Stock Exchange at the close of business on Thursday.