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Chico's FAS' CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results- Earnings Call Transcript

This trend right product also drove exceptional new store performance. Chico’s has opened 13 new stores this year, including six outlets, and overall we’re meeting or beating our sales expectations. Product-wise, I will add that we’re very excited about the sale potential of our So Slimming technology introduced last fall. Our So Slimming jeans have been such a huge success that we’ve already expanded the So Slimming line to additional bottoms in our fall collections. Congratulations to Cindy Murray and her team for this great quarter.

White House Black Market’s momentum continued in the second quarter with a 2.3% comparable sales increase on top of a 14.9% last year, for at two-year stack of 17.2% and a three-year stack of 30%. This is truly one of the best performances in specialty retail. Our second quarter total sales are up 9.8% for White House, reflecting 39 new stores this year over year as we accelerate our capital investment in this brand. As we have discussed in our planning assumptions, we knew it would be a challenge to cycle last year due to the launch of the work kit and the polished casual assortment which drove 14.9% comparable sales increase in 2011, and we are pleased with our results in this quarter.

As I mentioned on our first quarter call, we entered the second quarter for White House Black Market a bit lean in inventory, having delivered above-plan total sales performance of 18.2% in the first quarter. We opened 31 stores to date this year, including 10 outlets. These new stores are exceeding our sales expectations and were our first priority as we allocated total inventory since first year sales are a major indicator of the long-term success for a given location. So in all likelihood, we left more than a few comparable sales dollars on the table. As I have previously stated, that’s a good problem to have and I’m pleased at how well our assortments continue to resonate with new and existing White House Black Market customers.

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