Fashion Bug to close in 2013

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RIO GRANDE – Seven people will be out of work when Fashion Bug in Rio Grande closes next year, the manager said this week.

The women’s clothing store at the Walmart plaza is the latest across the country that will be shut down. Earlier this year, Ascena Retail Group Inc., based in New York, acquired Charming Shoppes Inc. in an approximate $890 million cash transaction. The sale included Fashion Bug, Lane Bryant and Catherines Plus Sizes.

Rio Grande Fashion Bug manager Phyllis Hearon said Ascena decided to close the Fashion Bug stores.

“It was probably a surprise for everybody,” she said.

She said news of the store’s closing arrived around the Fourth of July.

“Although we do not yet have a final schedule of store closing dates, many of our Fashion Bug locations will be operating through the end of January 2013, and between now and then, customers can still shop at their Fashion Bug store,” said Gayle M. Coolick, vice president of Charming Shoppes Inc. “We will be holding wonderful sales events prior to the store closing to assist us in clearing product.”

The Rio Grande has been having major sales. Items range from 50 percent off to 70 percent, according to Hearon.

“We’ve been extremely busy,” Hearon said.

She said costume jewelry has been popular, as have several other items, including boots.

Fashion Bug, which has women’s apparel, accessories and footwear, first opened in Audubon, Camden County, in the 1960s. The store was established as part of Charming Shoppes Inc.

Employees at the Rio Grande store all live in Cape May County, including Middle and Dennis townships, according to Hearon. She couldn’t provide details on the lease.

The store at 3151 Route 9 is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.

A men’s day is scheduled Saturday, Dec. 22, from 2-8 p.m. Free gift wrapping will be available.

“The Fashion Bug brand has been proudly serving American women for 70 years. Through our Rio Grande location, we have been serving the area since 2007,” said Coolick. “We have greatly enjoyed doing business in Rio Grande and would like to thank our customers for their loyalty.”

For more information, contact the Rio Grande store at 609-465-2713.


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