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Women’s apparel retailer Chico’s to close at least 250 stores in three years

Chicos store at The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens

Fort Myers-based women’s apparel retailer Chico’s FAS Inc. plans to close at least 250 stores in the United States over a three-year period.

Chico’s FAS did not identify where it would close stores operating under its three brands – Chico’s, Soma and White House Black Market.

The publicly held company has 124 stores in Florida, according to its Form 10-K filing last year with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

As of Nov. 3, Chico’s FAS had a total of 1,431 stores in the United States and Canada and 83 franchise locations in Mexico.

In a press release, the Fort Myers-based company called its plan to close at least 250 stores by 2022 a “strategic decision to re-balance the mix between its physical store presence and its digital network.”

Chico’s FAS also said the planned store closures will “allow the company to take advantage of its lease expiration cadence, while improving profitability and return on invested capital.”

In late November, Chico’s FAS reported a 40 percent decline in net income to $52.3 million in the nine-month period ended Oct. 28, from $73 million during the same period in 2017.

Net sales in the nine-month period fell 5.6 percent to $847 million last year from $895 million in 2017.

Chico’s FAS expects to announce its financial results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 and the full year on March 6. – Mike Seemuth

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