Chico's White House Black Market Enters Canadian Market
By Anna Rose Welch, associate editor
Inaugural Canadian expansion considered a natural extension of Chico’s brands
Chico’s has announced its first international store opening with a White House Black Market location in Toronto on October 24. This store opening is the first of the company’s three upcoming international expansions into Canada. The woman’s retailer also will be opening White House Black Market stores in Mississauga on October 29 and Newmarket on November 12.
White House Black Market was founded in 1985 as an outlet for women to buy exclusively designed, private branded clothing at more affordable rates than designer fashions. To date, there are 416 boutiques and 52 outlets in operation. In 2003, Chico’s acquired the brand and has found it to be an important financial contributor that’s helped the company periodically outperform competitors Christopher & Banks, Coldwater Creek, and other women’s clothing retailers. While more affordable than some designers, full-price selling at White House/Black Market during the 2012 holiday season enabled the company to beat the year’s holiday-quarter estimates and other competitors who were relying on discounts to entice consumers.
President and CEO of Chico’s, David Dyer, says, “We believe Canada is a great first foray into the international arena for Chico’s FAS, as it represents a natural extension of our brands. From our robust customer file, we already know that there are a significant number of Chico’s FAS customers in Canada.” The sentiment is echoed by Donna Noce, White House Black Market brand president, “"We could not be more thrilled to open our first international location in the greater Toronto area. As White House Black Market grows in Canada, we look forward to making the women of Canada feel beautiful."
Chico’s plans to continue to expand with all of its brands. Hopefully after the successful launch of White House Black Market brand in Canada, the company will endeavor to bring all of its brands to the international market.