October 17, 2007, 12:00 AM

Charming Shoppes sees a bigger future for e-commerce

Charming Shoppes sees e-commerce as one of its highest margin channels and is investing in resources that will grow the web to about $300 million in annual sales within several years.

Charming Shoppes Inc. sees e-commerce as one of its highest margin channels and is investing in resources that will grow the web to about $300 million in annual sales within several years, senior vice president of finance, strategy and business development Steven Wishner told attendees at a recent investor’s conference.

Speaking to attendees of the Thomas Weisel Partners consumer conference in New York, Wishner said that e-commerce currently represents about 4% of total sales. In 2006 Charming Shoppes, No. 100 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported web sales of $118.1 million, which made up about 4% of the retailer’s total sales of $3.06 billion.

But within several years as Charming Shoppes grows to $4 billion in annual sales, the e-commerce channel will account for as much as 7% of total revenue. “We will shift resources to grow our highest margin businesses and that includes e-commerce,” he told attendees.

Charming Shoppes operates more than a dozen e-commerce sites, including LaneBryant.com, Catherines.com and FashionBug.com.

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