Advent International

Global Highlights 2013/14

Retail, Consumer & Leisure

Strengthening solid management, merchandising and sales to turn around Charlotte Russe

Prior to our investment in 2009, US women’s value-fashion retailer Charlotte Russe was undermanaged and underperforming. Our aim was to revitalize the brand, moving from off-trend value-fashion to on-trend fast-fashion, and eventually expand the retail base from 500 to 700 stores.

Initially, we strengthened senior management and relocated company headquarters to better recruit top talent. Work then began on rebranding and changing the company’s merchandising to a more fashion-forward mix. Disappointing results in 2010 showed us that we had moved too far and too quickly for our customers. We needed to adjust our strategy and rebuild Charlotte Russe’s customer positioning.

After a lot of hard work, positive results began to appear in 2011. Every aspect of the design, sourcing, marketing and sale of Charlotte Russe’s product line has been examined and overhauled, improving the mix and appeal, as well as costs and speed-to-market time. Now, with solid management, positive sales and increasing market share, Charlotte Russe is focusing on growth, with plans to open 30-40 stores a year and expand its highly-profitable e-commerce business.

See our Retail, Consumer and Leisure investments