ATLANTA — White House/Black Market is set to unveil online sales today seeking to implement the multichannel strategy that has been successful for parent company Chico’s.
Since being bought by Chico’s in September 2003, the chain has more than doubled the number of stores to more than 180, increased in-store inventory by 60 percent and launched television advertising and a customer loyalty program.
White House/Black Market sales typically aren’t broken out from Chico’s sales. But the firm did report May same-store sales for White House/Black Market gained 30 percent over the same period last year, boosted by TV advertising. Since then, officials have said White House/Black Market’s sales have “exceeded expectations,” and predict Web sales will give August and September a similar boost.
The launch is timed to coincide with the September catalogue mailer, which has doubled to 1 million circulation in the past year. The Web site and catalogue feature the same 100 clothing and accessories items, all in black, white and ivory, with a few denim pieces.
“We expect modest sales at first until we can judge demand,” said Jim Frain, chief marketing officer of Chico’s FAS Inc., who added that the Web site should attract many first-time customers.
Product, in both catalogue and on the Web, will build through fall toward holiday, he said. “We know people use the catalogue and Internet together,” Frain said.