Chico's FAS, Same Store Sales Still In Tank (CHS)

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Many have been hoping that the bloodletting in the aisles of Chico’s FAS inc. (NYSE: CHS) is coming to an end.  If that is the case, it isn’t evident in the numbers yet. 

The womens retail and apparel chain posted a decrease in same store sales at -20.7% for the five-week period ended April 5, 2008.  It claims that without the effect of Easter this season, same store sales would have been down in the 18% to 19% range.  March total sales results for the five-week period ended April 5, 2008, decreased 15.2% to $162.1 million from $191.2 million.

Chico’s closed at $6.40 yesterday.  Its 52-week trading range is $6.40 to $27.94.  Shares are indicated down close to 3% at $6.21 in pre-market trading.  It appears another 52-week low is heading its way.

Chico’s growth days are done.  For it to recover it has to show some stability throughout its chain, because it can’t just keep opening new stores in saturated areas.  The Company has 608 Chico’s front-line stores, 38 Chico’s outlet stores; 314 White House | Black Market front-line stores and has19 White House | Black Market outlet stores; 70 Soma Intimates front-line stores and 1 Soma Intimates outlet store.

Who know for sure, but maybe it would even consider breaking up its brands.

Jon C. Ogg
April 10, 2008

Jon Ogg produces the Special Situation Investing Newsletter.  He can be reached at jonogg@247wallst.com and he does not own securities in the companies he covers.