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Q For Women--Familiar With Women's Retailers Lane Bryant or Fashion Bug?
Old 11-08-2007, 02:42 PM   #1
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Q For Women--Familiar With Women's Retailers Lane Bryant or Fashion Bug?

A smart mutual fund manager named Bob Rodriguez recently increased his position in Charming Shoppes, which is the holding company for women's retailers Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, Catherine’s and one other outlet operation focusing on petite sizing. Charming Shoppes has gotten a lot cheaper since his purchase, and bottom fishing is my main hobby so I am interested.

Right now I am interested in any impressions of these stores, as stores. Do they give their customer what she is looking for, in an atmosphere that she enjoys, and at a price that she is willing to pay?

I'll go mall crawling and have a look-see, but I am very interested in some women's eye views too.

Any comments?

Ha
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:59 PM   #2
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sorry, can't help. I never go in these because they do not carry my size. But I am not the norm (very petite)
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:18 PM   #3
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I haven't been in a fashion bug for years but all of a sudden they seem to be poping up everywhere .The sell clothes that are a step up from k mart .Fasionable inexpensive clothes for teenagers .Catherine's and Lane Bryant both market to bigger women .While I would not shop at either of these stores I could see with the plumping of americans that they might be popular . It seems like there are more and more of those stores so maybe it's a good bet . My money would be own JJill or Chico's which have seem to
be marketing to the baby boomers .The service for both these stores are excellent and they offer good discounts and great sales.
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:34 PM   #4
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Several years ago Greg was interesting in Charming shoppes. He rarely checks this board anymore. You might send him an email.

Lane Bryant and Catherines are for the hefty ladies. Definitely not upscale but they don't seem to be totally dowdy either. My impression when walking by them in the Mall is the Lane Bryant is for younger plump women and Catherines more for the middle aged.
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:40 PM   #5
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My Mom has been getting Lane Bryant catalogs for YEARS. She occasionally orders from them, and likes their clothes.

We have a Fashion Bug here in town, and I've shopped their for gifts for Mom, girlfriends, girlfriend's daughters, etc. They have nice clothes for very reasonable prices. And they do have larger sizes (they fit my Mom ). All of the above mentioned females have also shopped there for themselves, and can usually find what they're looking for.....from kind of plain to fairly dressy.
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Old 11-09-2007, 12:00 AM   #6
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We have a Fashion Bug at our local strip mall. It has been there for over 25 years. I used to shop there for clothes for an office job back in the 80's. I hadn't been back there since then and then this past summer I went in and found that the store was well stocked, well organized, with helpful staff and a very good selection.

I was looking for a beach cover-up and when they offered me a 2nd item at half price I kept shopping an found a nightgown. When I checked out they asked for my email address and later I got a coupon in the mail and went back for another nightgown.

The store we have here is half "Misses" which is regular sized styled for teenage through 20's or 30's for casual and also dressy and office work. The other half is "Plus Sized". Clothing styles range from T-shirts and embroidered sweatshirts and jeans to dress slacks, blouses, skirts, party dresses, and office wear. I would rank them comparable to JC Penney and Sears in terms of quality. They also had a lot of accessories like belts, scarves, necklaces, bracelets, purses, socks, etc.

This Fashion Bug store is probably the last ongoing successful store in our poor strip mall. The strip mall has 70% vacancy. The city would love to buy the property and the owner refuses to sell. So now they are trying to declare it blighted so that they can start eminent domain proceedings. The Fashion Bug store is the last remnant of what the shopping center used to be.
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Old 11-09-2007, 01:23 AM   #7
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This Fashion Bug store is probably the last ongoing successful store in our poor strip mall. The strip mall has 70% vacancy. The city would love to buy the property and the owner refuses to sell. So now they are trying to declare it blighted so that they can start eminent domain proceedings. The Fashion Bug store is the last remnant of what the shopping center used to be.
Sue, I am sorry to hear about your failing mall. I visited a failing mall near Bowling Green, KY in the ag depression of the late 80s. It was truly a depressing sight.

Thanks for the insightful comments about Fashion Bug by you and for all the other comments by others above. Will have to get up my resolve to drive to the suburbs to find a store or stores to get a hands on feel.

My investment related questions center on store quality and fitness to market, overall economic and retail weakness in the current economy, and will Charming Shoppes be able to continue to securitize their catalog and proprietary credit card receivables. From what you and Goonie and other shoppers have mentioned it appears that the stores per se are fine.

Ha
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Old 11-28-2007, 01:10 PM   #8
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I went to Bellevue Square Mall yesterday to have a look at Lane Bryant. It's the most up-market mall in Washington State, excluding some small downtown Seattle developments. The mall was kind of quiet for the season, but it was early afternoon on a Tuesday.

The Lane Bryant Store was right next to Macy’s, on the main ground floor of the mall. The store was neat, everything nicely folded. The goods appeared to me to be at least moderately fashion forward. I took a look at their jean sizing scheme- they make all styles in three basic fits-curvy, moderately curvy, and straight. With the clerks help I discovered that I am moderately curvy.

There were several shoppers, some pushing baby carriages. The shoppers and clerks were young, and heavier than average weight. The manager explained to me that roughly 1/3 of sales come from intimates, which are branded Cacique, and in this particular store occupied much less than 1/3 of floor space.

She told me where to find a Catherines store to look at, so that will be another field trip for me.

Since I last asked about it the stock has continued down. So investigation continues. I have a feeling I will have plenty of time to come to a decision.

Ha
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Old 11-28-2007, 01:40 PM   #9
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the stock has continued down. So investigation continues. I have a feeling I will have plenty of time to come to a decision.

Ha
Why you are investigating check out JJill ? It is attracting tons of baby boomers who want to look good and their sales are great. Their clothes are well made .The only negative thing I can say is they run out of things or maybe they are running out of things because they are getting more and more popular .
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Old 11-28-2007, 01:50 PM   #10
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I don't normally read this folder but Fashion Bug caught my eye. I shop there for all the women in my family, they range all sized from petite to very well rounded. Merchandise is of fairly good quality, always stocked and the store personel are always pleasant and helpful. I can find things there for work for myself and find the prices to be very reasonable. There are 3 stores within driving distance with one located just across town from me.

I also shop at JJill, nice quality and selection, they carry a range of sizes but the larger size items seem to be only available from their catalog. The stores do not seem as well stocked but I agree it's probably like Moemg stated, they are becoming more popular.

Both Fashion Bug and JJill sell online and if you buy from JJill online you can have it delivered to a store near you to save shipping (at least that's what they told me last year).
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:51 PM   #11
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I just bought some Charlotte Russe (CHIC). It had a bad quarter but has done well generally.
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:45 PM   #12
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I don't normally read this folder but Fashion Bug caught my eye. I shop there for all the women in my family, they range all sized from petite to very well rounded.
Thanks Ottahere and Moemg for the great info. I should have mentioned that as far as I know, only Lane Brant is exclusively plus size, of the various stores under Charming Shoppes. There is even one store which is exclusively petites-I forgot the name of that one.

The reason that I mentioned the body types of the sales staff is that I was hoping that I wouldn't find the usual 18 year old 110 pound girls staffing this specialty store.

By the way, I wonder about this Holiday Season. I was downtown in the central retail district today and there weren't any crowds. The stores didn't look empty, but neither did they seem busy.

Ha
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Old 11-29-2007, 08:09 AM   #13
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Thanks Ottahere and Moemg for the great info. I should have mentioned that as far as I know, only Lane Brant is exclusively plus size, of the various stores under Charming Shoppes. There is even one store which is exclusively petites-I forgot the name of that one.

.

Ha

You are welcome .I am an endless pit of shopping knowledge .
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