Chico's FAS History

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Chico's FAS is a Florida-based fashion company founded in 1983 on Sanibel Island, Fla. The Company reinvented the fashion retail experience by creating fashion communities anchored by our Most Amazing Personal Service, which put the customer at the center of everything we do. As one of the leading fashion retailers in North America, Chico's FAS is a company of three unique brands – Chico's, White House Black Market and Soma – each thriving in their own white space, founded by women, led by women, providing solutions that millions of women say give them confidence and joy.

As of July 1, 2020 we have 1,325 boutiques and outlets throughout the U.S. (including Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands) and Canada, as well as an online presence for each of our brands.

chico logo
white house black market logo
soma logo

CHICO’S FAS CORPORATE MILESTONES

1983: Chico’s Folk Art Specialties (FAS) is born: Marvin and Helene Gralnick sign their first lease at The Periwinkle Place in Sanibel, FL. Helene names the boutiques after her friend’s parrot, Chico.

1984: Marvin's pocket was the first cash register. "We wouldn't close the shop until we got a certain amount in sales. Our accountant came by one night and bought something so we could go home." - Karin Greenman, Chico's (Folk Art Specialties) FAS first associate. 

1987: The first franchise store opens in Edina, Minnesota.

1989: Chico’s Folk Art Specialties earns a place on Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 fastest-growing privately held companies in America.

1990: The company name is shortened to Chico’s FAS. Chico’s launches Passport Loyalty Rewards program.

1993: Chico’s FAS goes public and begins trading on NASDAQ under the title CHCS. Chico’s FAS places 13 on the BusinessWeek’s list of the 100 Best Small Corporations.

1994: Chico's FAS moves into an award-winning office and distribution center in Fort Myers, FL. 

1998: Chico’s FAS premieres Most Amazing Personal Service (MAPS) customer service initiative, which becomes part of the company's DNA.

1999: Chico’s launches online sales at Chicos.com.

2000: Chico’s mails its first catalog and opens a call center to take orders.

2001: Chico’s FAS debuts on the New York Stock Exchange as CHS. Chico’s FAS earns a place on Fortune’s 100 fastest Growing Companies, BusinessWeek’s 100 Best Small Companies, and the number one spot on Forbes’ 200 Best Small Companies.

2002: Chico’s FAS distribution center opens in Winder, GA.

2003: Chico’s FAS acquires White House Black Market.

2004: Chico’s FAS launches Soma, an intimate apparel boutique.

2006: Chico’s FAS adds 24 acres to Fort Myers campus.

2010: Chico’s FAS expands into Outlet format through Chico’s and White House Black Market brands.

2012: New merchandise categories debut; Chico's So Slimming Pants Collection, White House Black Market's Work Kit and Perfect Form Fabric and Soma's Embraceable Bra Collection. White House Black Market introduces Loyalty Program.

2013: Love Soma Rewards loyalty program announced. White House Black Market expands to Canada. Chico’s celebrates its 30th Anniversary. Chico’s FAS headquarters in Fort Myers, FL is designated a Florida Green Commercial Building by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC).

2014: Chico’s FAS announces international expansion into Mexico as a franchise business. Chicos.com launches petite sizes.

2017: ChicosOffTheRack.com online outlet launches. Chico’s FAS reaches rare status among public companies that currently have a female majority on the Board of Directors (55%) and Executive Management team (65%*) . The company is recognized by LedBetter, 2020 Women on Boards and National Association of Female Executives (NAFE) for empowering women in leadership.

2018: Chico’s FAS forms partnerships with new sales channels, including ShopRunner, Amazon and QVC. Chico’s FAS sponsors their 43rd Habitat for Humanity home in Southwest Florida.

2019: The Company welcomes Bonnie Brooks as Chico's FAS CEO & President and Molly Langenstein as President, Apparel Group to lead the Chico's and White House Black Market brands. Chico's FAS launches TellTale, a digital-first intimate apparel brand.

2020: Chico’s FAS is recognized as one of the Best Employers for Diversity by Forbes Magazine. Molly Langenstein is promoted to CEO and President of Chico’s FAS, as Bonnie Brooks transitions to Chair of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.

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Investor Contact

  • David M. Oliver

  • Senior Vice President, Finance - Controller
  • cfo@chicos.com