Redefining the Chicos Brand

Upon interviewing with and joining Chicos, there had been concerns with brand positioning, product aesthetic, and quality perception.

For over a year and a half, I provided high level creative leadership from concept thru execution. My focus was on redefining the brand, training and aligning design, production teams and vendors on elevating taste level, creating quality guidelines, improving processes, and partnering with merchants and visual teams to emphasize big ideas and must have assortments.

Key changes and accomplishments include:

  • Developed image boards, print boards and aspirational boards for who and what Chicos is

  • Concepted key looks upfront thru illustrations as guideline buys

  • Simplified approach to color, print and floor set connectivity

  • Built out color planograms to direct color balance within floor set

  • Approached monthly deliveries thru cohesive story telling and edited assortments

  • Improved minimum standard guidelines for quality and construction

  • Identified seasonal and monthly “gotta have its” at concept stage to ensure key item offerings

  • Elevated and edited fabric qualities

  • Created a testing calendar and cadence for items and fashion ideas

  • Implemented a more wholistic design process to review outfits, items, color and print

  • Influenced final buy to maintain design vision by encouraging a strong partnership between Design and Visual to present line review in mock store

  • Negotiated and managed collaborations with domestic brands to utilize their category expertise for unique product offerings online and in store

  • Facilitated a team culture of creativity and collaboration

 

As of Q4 2018, during investor calls, Chicos announced improvements in go forward product direction and assortments. And on Q1 2019 call, announced stronger traction for Q1 and Q2, with excitement and greater expectations for Q3 and Q4 2019.

  • Chico's first quarter results stabilized in line with the fourth quarter 2018. The brand is making progress in elevating the product aesthetic and delivering a more balanced merchandise architecture to its customers.

  • The Company anticipates a mid-single digit decline in total net sales and consolidated comparable sales, reflecting expected softer sales in its White House Black Market brand, which will continue through the second quarter. However, the Company expects that sales at the Chico's and Soma brands will improve in the second quarter compared to the first.

  • As previously announced, the Company has adjusted the spring and summer assortments at Chico's to appropriately balance merchandise architecture, reduce planned receipts and chase more merchandise that is performing well.

  • Strategies to further improve product aesthetic and architecture are also well underway for fall deliveries.

  • Chico's comparable sales improved sequentially compared to the first quarter, driven by momentum in key item and better in-stock positions.

 © 2019 by MJF. All Rights Reserved.

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