Chico's Chairman announces strategies for Future Growth
27 Jun '08
3 min read
Chico's FAS Inc announced that, based on a preliminary count provided by its Inspector of Elections, stockholders have re-elected all three of the Company's Class III Directors at Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
In addition, based on that preliminary count, stockholders ratified the Amended and Restated Chico's FAS Inc 2002 Omnibus Stock and Incentive Plan and the appointment of Ernst & Young LLP as the Company's independent public accountants for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2009 (fiscal 2008).
In his report on the Company, Scott A. Edmonds, Chairman, President & CEO discussed the actions the Company is taking to weather the challenging economic and retailing environment, specifically in the "missy" segment and position itself for future growth:
"We start with a strong foundation - our extremely loyal customer base," said Mr. Edmonds. "All three of our brands continue to attract new customers to their loyalty programs. This is a strong indication that all three of our brands continue to have substantial room for growth."
"Further, we are in a very strong financial position, with very strong cash flows. At the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2008, the Company had approximately $271 million dollars in cash and marketable securities and zero debt."
Mr. Edmonds discussed how the Company is building on this strong foundation through its strategy for future earnings growth. This strategy includes:
• Strengthening the Company's bond with its loyal customer by increasing focus on providing "most amazing personal service" to every person that enters our stores;
• Enhancing the value of its merchandise through improved fit, fabric, and quality with styles that are viewed as only available within the Chico's brands;
• Executing and delivering an exciting and compelling marketing message that highlights the unique nature of the Company's improved merchandise offerings;
• Slowing down real estate square footage growth until there is improvement in the overall economy and evidence of improved same store sales, profitability, and cash flow;
• Implementing tighter controls over inventory levels commensurate with the trend in business thereby avoiding significant markdowns;
• Attacking the expense structure at all non-customer touch points and tightly controlling headcount across our headquarters; and
• Reducing capital expenditures from prior years by only allowing expenditures that are crucial to our needs and that provide measurable payback.
"These strategies are being implemented by a management team that I believe is one of the best in the industry," continued Mr. Edmonds, highlighting a number of new hires and promotions the company has made over the past several months.
Mr. Edmonds concluded: "Despite the current challenges, we remain confident in our long-term strategies and are optimistic about our future."