Posted by Jim Thompson on October 1, 2009 11:25 AM
The story begins in 1983 off the coast of Florida. Ronald Reagan was president. “Down Under” by Men at Work topped the music charts. Chico’s, a small boutique store, sold Mexican folk art and cotton sweaters on Sanibel Island, Florida.
Ronald Reagan is long gone. Men at Work faded into obscurity. Yet, as brandchannel's Barry Silverstein reports in an in-depth brand profile, Chico’s originality and intelligence has won over a generation of professional, financially independent women. The chain now boasts 655 boutique stores, with more than 340 Chico’s-owned White House/Black Market boutiques and 70 Soma Intimates boutiques owned by parent company Chico’s FAS.
Chico's copes with the challenges of a down economy with a focus on originality and understanding their customers, taking risks while adhering to traditional values -- their approach over the decades, not just during tough times.
Michelle Obama and Debbie Phelps, Olympic swimming sensation Michael Phelps's mother, both represent the Chico’s demographic: strong women who exude a sense of confidence, magnanimity, and style. And both are public fans of Chico’s. From First Lady to doting mother, Chico’s has scored the ultimate brand ambassadors simply by being itself.