FORT MYERS, Fla., May 9, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Chico's FAS, Inc. (NYSE: CHS) is making an important addition to its investment in Barrow County, Georgia with the building of its new Performance Optimized Data, or "POD" center. POD technology, often referred to as, "data center in a box," employs modular pre-fabricated reinforced steel containers, approximately the size of a train freight car, to house and efficiently cool vital information technology hardware. The new configuration will nearly double the Chico's FAS current computing capacity, requiring half the space in a structure that is more secure, can be easily expanded and lessens the risk of weather-related service disruptions.
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Commenting on the corporation's latest investment in its Winder campus, Chico's FAS executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, Kent A. Kleeberger said, "The locating of the new POD center within the Winder facilities further demonstrates our commitment to expanding our Barrow County assets in support of the strategies leading to future global business growth."
"Barrow County continues to benefit from Chico's FAS' on-going investment in its Winder campus, especially with such leading edge technology as the POD center being announced today," said Ms. Linda D. Moore, vice president of the Barrow Economic Development Council.
The new POD center will be located on Chico's campus in Winder, Georgia, where the company first located its retail distribution center in 2002. Expansion of those facilities followed in 2004 and 2006, including the opening of a customer call center to handle direct-to-consumer orders for the company's three retail brands, Chico's, White House | Black Market and Soma Intimates.
In 2009, Chico's FAS further expanded its facilities in Winder with the purchase of the former Hagemeyer building, including 39 acres, on Barrow Industrial Parkway. This acquisition, combined with the existing distribution and call center, gave the company a total of 583,000 square feet on a combined 110 acres for the corporation's distribution and fulfillment operations, and soon its POD center.
For its fiscal year ended January 2011, Chico's FAS, Inc. reported a net sales increase of 11.2% to a record $1.91 billion. The net sales figure includes $137.4 million in direct-to-consumer sales, a 39.7% increase over the prior year. As of January 31, 2011, Chico's FAS employed 18,900 associates across the United States.
To find out more about the economic development opportunities in Barrow County, Georgia, go to http://www.choosebarrow.com/, or call (770) 867-9440.
ABOUT CHICO'S FAS, INC.
The Company is a women's specialty retailer of private branded, sophisticated, casual-to-dressy clothing, intimates, complementary accessories, and other non-clothing gift items. The Company operates 1,184 specialty stores, including stores in 48 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
The Chico's brand currently operates 594 boutiques and 71 outlet stores, publishes a catalog during key shopping periods throughout the year, and conducts e-commerce at http://www.chicos.com.
White House | Black Market operates 351 boutique and 24 outlet stores, publishes a catalog highlighting its latest fashions and conducts e-commerce at http://www.whbm.com/.
Soma Intimates is the Company's developing concept with 134 boutique and 10 outlet stores today. Soma Intimates also publishes a catalog for its customers and conducts e-commerce at http://www.soma.com/.
SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995 Certain statements contained herein, including without limitation, statements addressing the beliefs, plans, objectives, estimates or expectations of the Company or future results or events constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Such forward-looking statements involve known or unknown risks, including, but not limited to, general economic and business conditions, and conditions in the specialty retail industry. There can be no assurance that the actual future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements will occur. Users of forward-looking statements are encouraged to review the Company's latest annual report on Form 10-K, its filings on Form 10-Q, management's discussion and analysis in the Company's latest annual report to stockholders, the Company's filings on Form 8-K, and other federal securities law filings for a description of other important factors that may affect the Company's business, results of operations and financial condition. The Company does not undertake to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that projected results expressed or implied in such statements will not be realized.
For more detailed information on Chico's FAS, Inc., please go to our corporate website, http://www.chicosfas.com/.
Robert C. Atkinson
Vice President-Investor Relations
Chico's FAS, Inc.
SOURCE Chico's FAS, Inc.