Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: A private Charlotte Russe


Check Out Charlotte Russe agreeing to a buyout.GENERALGROWTH/

Private equity firm Advent International Corp will buy the mall-based specialty apparel retailer for about $380 million and take it private, Charlotte Russe said on Monday.

Advent says it has significant experience in the retail arena with investments in companies like yogawear maker Lululemon Athletica, European discounter Takko and French designer Gerard Darel.

Any expertise on Advent’s part will only help Charlotte Russe, which like other apparel companies has faced challenges in the past months , as the recession makes shoppers more frugal.

In the fiscal third  quarter, Charlotte Russe posted a 4.9 percent sales increase, but same-store sales fell 3.6 percent.

Recession Sells: Chicago’s dinosaurs


On Chicago’s State Street, I found these dinosaurs creeping up on a Christmas tree at the FAO Schwarz section inside Macy’s:

Moving on to an empty TV section in Sears:

At Sears, Christmas decorations were already 60 percent off:

And at Charlotte Russe, more discounts:

Check Out Line: This week in retail wasn’t pretty


Check out a stream of extremely sobering news from – and for – retailers.

This week, quarterly reports came in from Macy’s, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, JC PenneyCharlotte Russe, and Abercrombie & Fitch.