CHICO’S CORNER: A long search for a store location in Manhattan has finally paid off for red-hot Chico’s, which told WWD it has plans to open a 1,660-square-foot unit on Oct. 3 at the corner of 75th Street and Third Avenue. Although the store will be smaller than the chain’s average 1,780-square-foot unit, it is expected to be one of Chico’s top-10 sites, producing sales of at least $2 million annually, said Chico’s chief financial officer Charles Kleman. Chico’s average store generates volume of $1.4 million a year, or $830 per square foot, he noted. Ninety-five of the chain’s 324 stores post annual sales north of the $1 million mark, he added. Chico’s first Manhattan store will carry a small quantity of special buys, under the Chico’s label. The Fort Myers, Fla.-based chain obtained the space, formerly occupied by Rodier, through a bankruptcy proceeding.
FORMER GAP EXEC TO AUTHENTIC: Rick Lyons has joined Authentic Fitness Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Warnaco Group as head of retail. Lyons is based at the company’s Los Angeles office and reports to Roger Williams, president and chief operating officer of AFC. Most recently, Lyons was president of Enson.com, a now-defunct online retailer of children’s apparel. Before that, he spent 13 years at Gap, ultimately becoming executive vice president of Gap Inc. and president of the Gap, Gap Kids and Outlet divisions. He left the firm in 1997.
STOCK FLOP: Retail issues managed to fare better than the equity markets in general Thursday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 230.06 points, or 2.8 percent, to end the day at 7,942.39, its first sub-8,000 finish since July 23. Standard & Poor’s Retail Index slid 5.86 points, or 2 percent, to 293.63. Charlotte Russe, which warned profits for the fourth quarter ending Sept. 28 would range from 23 to 25 cents a diluted share, below Wall Street’s expectations of 28 cents, saw its stock drop $2.36, or 17.6 percent, to $11.04. Bucking the trend was Dress Barn, which said Wednesday that fourth-quarter profits soared 62.6 percent and on Thursday saw its shares leap $3.96, or 35.1 percent, to $15.25.