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Charming Shoppes names division head


BENSALEM, Pa. Charming Shoppes today announced the promotion of LuAnn Via to group divisional president, with leadership responsibility for the Lane Bryant and Cacique brands, reporting to Dorrit Bern, chairman, ceo and president of Charming Shoppes. Via succeeds Lorna Nagler, who was president of Lane Bryant since 2004, and who has left the company to pursue other career interests. Previously, Via served Charming Shoppes as the president of the company's Catherines brand, since January 2006. In her new role, Via will be responsible for strategic oversight and operational performance for both the Lane Bryant retail brand and its Cacique intimate apparel business, including merchandising, marketing, stores, and operations. Via will be based at Lane Bryant's Columbus, Ohio headquarters. Charming Shoppes has initiated an immediate search for a president of Catherines, and during the interim period Dorrit Bern will assume leadership responsibility for the Catherines brand.

Prior to joining Charming Shoppes, Via's retail career has spanned more than 30 years, and has included extensive experience in senior leadership, merchandising and product development for companies such as Sears, Roebuck & Co., where she served in the positions of vp and general merchandise manager for Saks Incorporated and Rich's (a former division of Macy's Inc., which now operates as Macy's South).



Additionally, the company today announced a revision to its earnings guidance. For the second quarter ending Aug. 4, the company has revised its projections for diluted earnings per share to a range of 18 cents to 20 cents, compared to diluted earnings per share of 24 cents for the corresponding period ended July 29, 2006. Previously, the company had projected earnings per share for the second quarter ending Aug. 4 in a range of 25 cents to 27 cents. The revised projection represents a 3% to 4% increase in net sales in a range of $785 to $795 million, compared to net sales of $763.4 million for the period ended July 29, 2006. This projection assumes flat to low single-digit percentage decreases in consolidated comparable-store sales for the company's retail stores segment, compared to a 2% consolidated comparable store sales increase in the corresponding period of the prior year.

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