Activist investors trying to boost Charming Shoppes Inc.'s bottom line ratcheted up the rhetoric Monday in an open letter to stockholders.
"While shareholders have suffered because of management's missteps, this current board has awarded the top-five listed senior executives approximately $53.2 million in compensation over the last four fiscal years," said the letter from the Charming Shoppes Full Value Committee, a group of investors led by hedge funds Crescendo Partners and Myca Partners.
The investors are trying to elect Arnaud Ajdler, Robert Frankfurt and Michael Appel to Charming Shoppes' board at the company's annual meeting in May.
"Our nominees, if elected, will work with the board to re-evaluate senior management's plan," said the letter.
If named to the board, the nominees intend to push for merchandise tweaks to boost the chain's appeal to its main customers, the possible sale of noncore assets and a share buyback.
Charming Shoppes, in a statement to WWD, said the hedge funds are looking for short-term gains for themselves.
"We believe their nominees, if elected, would cause significant disruption and undermine Charming Shoppes' ability to continue executing its strategic plan, while seeking to advance their own self-serving, short-term agenda," the company said.
Charming Shoppes is contesting the group's move to appoint new directors in a lawsuit that alleges they want to influence board decisions in their favor.
The retailer is already in the midst of a major restructuring. Charming Shoppes closed 150 stores last year, cut 150 management positions, repurchased $253 million of its own shares and relocated Catherines Plus Sizes' home office to Bensalem, Pa., from Memphis.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)