Reuters  Sep 22  Comment 
British American Tobacco Plc said it would buy Poland's CHIC Group, owner of Europe's largest e-cigarette retailing network, and signed a vapour technology-sharing term sheet with...
newratings.com  Sep 22  Comment 
LONDON (dpa-AFX) - British American Tobacco plc (BATS.L, BTI) announced it has signed a conditional agreement to acquire CHIC Group. The CHIC Group has 800 points of sale in Poland, a dedicated e-liquids production facility, a modern research and...
Reuters  Oct 23  Comment 
Women's apparel and accessories retailer Charlotte Russe Inc, owned by private equity firm Advent International Corp, is speaking to banks about an initial public offering that may...
Cloud Computing  Apr 30  Comment 
Moovweb today announced that Charlotte Russe has been added to an already impressive list of customers for its cloud-based experience platform. Charlotte Russe is one of North America’s top retailers of fab,...
Wall Street Journal  Aug 2  Comment 
Some fashion brands are finding that teens and twentysomethings are most accessible by text.
NPR  Oct 20  Comment 
Talk about Photoshopping. With in-image advertising, every photo on the Internet becomes an interactive advertising billboard -- even if it's of celebrities in crisis. The practice raises questions about taste and editorial independence.
New York Times  Oct 16  Comment 
Jenny Ming, president and chief executive of Charlotte Russe, a clothing chain, says companies don’t have to be young in order to be scrappy and innovative.
StreetInsider.com  Sep 22  Comment 
Visit StreetInsider.com at http://www.streetinsider.com/Corporate+News/S%26P+Announces+Change+to+US+Index%3A+FIX+for+CHIC/4963581.html for the full story.
Cloud Computing  Sep 21  Comment 
Specialty Retailer Extends Partnership with Allurent to bring Unique Shopping Experience to Facebook Platform read more
Wall Street Journal  Aug 25  Comment 
Monday's sale of Charlotte Russe to a private equity firm vindicates a decision by the apparel retailer’s board to reject an unsolicited takeover offer from another private-equity firm last fall, a decision that now makes small investors big...


Charlotte Russe Holdings, Inc. (CHIC) is a mall-based specialty apparel retailer, which carries both branded and private-label merchandise, targeting women in their teens and twenties. The retailer offers a broad assortment of fashionable merchandise. CHIC focuses on three main lifestyle presentations: casual clothing, wear-to-work clothing, and going-out clothing. The 440 Charlotte Russe stores offer fashionable, affordable apparel and accessories that have been tested and accepted by the marketplace, appealing to women who prefer established fashion trends. These stores are located predominantly in high-visibility, center court mall locations in spaces that average approximately 7,000 square feet. The stores are designed to create an environment that is exciting to shop and accentuates the fashion, breadth, and value of merchandise selection. Through fashion content, merchandise mix, store layout and design, and merchandise presentation, the company's stores project fashion attitudes that appeal to customers across all ages and socioeconomic boundaries, with a core emphasis on the fashion and lifestyle needs of young women.

History & Products

Founded in 1975, the first Charlotte Russe store opened in Carlsbad, California, and over the next 20 years the brand grew to a 35-store chain in Southern California, achieving a stated $70M of annual sales[1].

Charlotte Russe was acquired by private equity investment firm, Saunders, Karp & Megrue along with Bernie Zeichner in September of 1996 and the company saw substantial growth in the following 2 years with an additional 29 new stores.

In 1998, Charlotte Russe opened a second line of stores focused on young women's contemporary fashion and accessories under the name "Rampage." At the beginning of Q4 FY2006, Rampage consisted of 64 stores, however, the Company moved to focus on the Charlotte Russe brand exclusively and subsequently sold the Rampage line[2].

The Company was taken public on October 19, 1999 with trading starting on October 20, 1999[3]. As of the recent Fiscal Year End report[4], Charlotte Russe was operating 487 stores nationwide.

Business & Financials

CHIC Revenue & Net Income
Revenue Net Income
2008 $823.3M $18.2M
2007 $740.9M $36.3M
2006 $681.5M $25.1M
2005 $511.3M $10.8M
2004 $449M $15.1M
2003 $371.7M $10.1M

Recent corporate releases show that having reached it's highest profit margin (net) in the past five years the Company experienced a larger than normal decline in overall profitability in FY2008 from 2007's 4.9% to 2008's 2.21%. Charlotte Russe attributes this decline to a few different sources, particularly the overall depression of the market[2].

Specifically, the Company identifies the following as probable causes for the profit decline: decreased consumer traffic caused by the current market, increased costs associated with rental and occupancy rates, decreased return on goods sold as a result of higher than average markdowns on products in stores[5].

Given recent sales trends and the standing budget and operating environment, CHIC is planning to continue expansion of the chain and has 20-25 new stores in mind for FY2009[5].

Trends and Forces


Charlotte Russe typically serves the same audience and competes with Deb Shops, Forever 21, H&M, and Wet Seal.



  1. Corporate Overview Summary
  2. 2.0 2.1 CHIC, 2007 10-K, Part I, Item I, p. 7
  3. Company FAQ
  4. 5.0 5.1 CHIC, 2008 10-Q
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