June 5, 2012, 1:46 PM

Charming Shoppes Q1 web sales increase 18%

But total sales and net income decrease 4% and 32%, respectively.

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Total sales decreased 4.6% to $481.3 million in Q1 for Charming Shoppes.

Though web sales grew for women’s clothing retailer Charming Shoppes Inc., its store sales were flat in the first quarter of 2012.

For the first quarter ended April 28, Charming Shoppes, No. 128 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported:

  • Web sales grew 18%. Charming Shoppes did not break out its e-commerce sales in dollars. But based on its report of $36.6 million in online sales in the prior year quarter, its Q1 2012 web sales were about $43.2 million.
  • Total sales decreased 4.6% to $481.3 million from $504.4 million in the year-ago quarter.
  • Comparable store sales were flat.
  • Net income dropped 31.5% to $17.8 million, from $26.0 million in the 2011 Q1.

Online sales accounted for 9.0% of total sales compared with 7.3% in the first quarter of 2011.

“Although we generated healthy gross margins during the quarter, our gross margins continued to be impacted by increases in product costs compared to a year ago,” says Anthony M. Romano, president and CEO. “We also executed deeper discounts to ensure seasonal unit sell-throughs as we experienced continuing challenging traffic trends.”

In May, Charming Shoppes announced Ascena Retail Group will buy the company for $890 million, a deal is expected to close later this month.

Charming Shoppes operates 1,832 stores under its Lane Bryan, Cacique, Fashion Bug and Catherines brands in 48 states.

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