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Private equity firm Sycamore Partners unsuccessfully tried to buy Chico's FAS in 2019. Why is Chico's worth $1 billion?

Sycamore Partners purchased Chico’s FAS for $938.1 million in an all-cash deal. Chico’s is ranked No. 108 in the Top 1000, Digital Commerce 360’s database of the largest North American e-retailers.

Digital Commerce 360 takeaways:

  • Chico’s has a loyal and long-lived customer base — and this isn’t the first time private equity firm Sycamore Partners has tried to close the deal. Sycamore tried to purchase Chico’s in 2019 to no avail. This time, however, the deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2024.
  • Chico’s debuted a new loyalty program, Chico’s Rewards+, in 2022 and sign ups have surpassed expectations. Within nine months, 80% of Chico’s customers were members of the program, senior vice president of marketing Leana Less told Digital Commerce 360.

Retail chains more likely to have loyalty programs

Loyalty programs are not prevalent among Top 1000 retailers. In fact, fewer than one-third of Top 1000 retailers have a loyalty program. And less than half of retail chains have loyalty programs, more than any other merchant type, according to Digital Commerce 360 data.

  • Retail chains (48.1%)
  • Consumer brand manufacturer (26.5%)
  • Web only (20.3%)
  • Direct marketer (13.9%)
  • Top 1000 retailers (27.9%)

Chico’s Rewards+ members are incredibly valuable for the retailer, according to Less. In the most recent fiscal quarter, average spend per customer was 40% higher among members than among non-members.

The average member “spends significantly higher [than non-members] and then the likelihood of her coming back the next quarter versus somebody that’s not in the loyalty program is significantly higher as well,” Less says.


The apparel retailer‘s brands include Chico’s, White House Black Market, and Soma.

Chico’s reports online sales growth in Q1 2023

  • Ecommerce sales were “up low single digits and outpaced stores on very strong traffic,” at Chico’s for the first quarter, chief financial officer PJ Guido told investors.
  • Online sales accounted for 41% of the retailer’s revenue over the last 12 months.

Mary Meisenzahl contributed to this report.

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