"We're very happy to say that we're on track, and our customer is responding to the aesthetic and sophistication we're offering her," Cinny Murray, Chico's president since February 2009, tells StyleList.
"We spent the last year talking to our customers; after all, she is at the heart and soul of everything we do, our inspiration. I traveled the country, listening to customers, and personally spoke with them in the store environment, on the phone, and via e-mail. Through this, I realized that the Chico's woman and potential customers who had never shopped with the brand were hungry for fashion. We brought in modern, stylish pieces with flattering cuts and silhouettes, and bold jewelry and accessories that would rival designer pieces."
The Chico's customer, Murray says, "is a confident, expressive, sophisticated, and engaged woman... Whether she's dressing for work, events, or travel, she likes to look current and modern, and she embraces fashion in everything she does. We offer her choices that fit her busy lifestyle and help her look and feel great."
So, what exactly are those choices?
"She loves the look of slim bottoms paired with long tops," Murray says. "She is also loving feminine pieces, like Bohemian tunics with a bit of sparkle and shine, and conversely, utility or sport detailing on cargo pants and jackets. Over the past year, we've greatly expanded our jewelry and accessory assortment. For spring and summer, we're offering chunky turquoise with silver, statement-making clear acrylic, and tribal-inspired wood and gold beaded pieces."
Along with the revamped clothing styles, Chico's stores are undergoing a makeover as well.
"The Chico's customer loves to mix and match, so we've merchandised the stores by color, so she can easily find pieces that complement her existing wardrobe as well as build new looks," Murray tells StyleList. "We've also added new displays for jewelry and accessories, so she can easily see the incredible breadth of the assortment."
Chico's isn't the only store to revamp its look. Eileen Fisher and Ann Taylor also made big changes.