The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

September 11, 2012

Fashion Bug to close all stores

DANVILLE — As Linda O’Banion of Armstrong looked through a rack of clearance-priced summer tops at Fashion Bug Tuesday morning, she pointed out, “I’ve got this one, and this one, and this one.”

It goes without saying that O’Banion is a fan of Fashion Bug, a mainstay of moderate-priced women’s specialty clothing for decades.

O’Banion said she was “sad” to learn that all Fashion Bug stores, including the Danville location, will close by early 2013.

Fashion Bug has been a part of Danville for at least 30 years. The store was one of Towne Centre’s first tenants when it opened in April 1983. In September 2002, Fashion Bug relocated to its current location at Pine Tree Plaza at Danville Crossings.

Ascena Retail Group acquired Fashion Bug’s parent company, Charming Shoppes, in June for about $900 million and decided to close all 600 Fashion Bug locations in 43 states.

As part of the sale, Ascena also acquired Charming Shoppe’s Lane Bryant and Catherine’s stores. Ascena also owns Maurice’s, which has a store at the Village Mall, and Dress Barn.

Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer said he was made aware only recently the local Fashion Bug would be closing.

“Obviously, we’re extremely disappointed because it leaves a void in that part of the area,” he said.

“But with Ross Dress for Less and the excitement for Kohl’s and TJ Maxx, they will help fill the need in the community,” he added.

Eisenhauer stressed that Fashion Bug’s pending closure was “not a local decision nor was it due to the local economy, but rather it was a nationwide move.”

He said he hoped the store’s closure would prompt developers to consider bringing more apparel retailers to the area.

The two employees working Tuesday morning at the Danville Fashion Bug said they were not permitted to talk to the media about the store’s closure and deferred questions to Gayle Coolick, vice president of investor relations for Charming Shoppes in Bensalem, Pa.

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