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Fort Myers, FL- Buoyed by record third quarter sales and same-store comps, Chico’s FAS Inc. has established a new revenue goal of $2 billion.

“Chico’s strong results are driven by great merchandise,” says President & CEO Scott A. Edmonds. “It is this intense focus on our merchandise that will propel us over the $1 billion in revenue mark for fiscal year ’04.” He continues: “While we are proud of this accomplishment, we’ve set a new goal of $2 billion in revenue…”

Chico’s net sales for the third quarter ended October 30, 2004, increased 28.1% to a record $270 million from $211 million for same period last year. Net income rose 38.6% to $37 million, or $0.41 a diluted share, compared to net income of $27 million, or $0.30 a diluted share, in the prior year’s third quarter.

Same-store sales for company-owned units increased 6.1% for the 13-week period ended October 30, 2004, compared to the same 13-week period lastyear.

Moreover, Chico’s, which offers exclusively designed, private-label women’s clothing and related accessories, posted an operating margin of 21.9%.

According to Edmonds, both the Chico’s and White House/Black Market brands performed well during the third quarter. The White House brand continued to add to earnings per share as it again contributed between$.02 and $.03 per share to the company’s $.41 diluted earnings per share for the third quarter.

“It’s hard to convey our excitement about this young brand,” Edmonds says. “The merchandise is getting better every day.” In fiscal year 2004, 46 new White House/Black Market stores will open. Today there are 154 front line stores and 4 outlet centers. “The New store design… is helping to improve average sales per store,” he says.

During the third quarter, Chico’s launched its intimate apparel concept, ‘Soma by Chico’s’. Ten test stores are currently open across the United States. “It’s too early to declare a victory, but we do see signs of a strong business for the future,” Edmonds says.

Edmonds says that Chico’s plans to accomplish its new revenue goals by focusing on human capital. The retailer is expanding its executive team and has searches on-going for executives in human resources, real estate, general merchandise and technical services.

Additionally, the company plans to focus on technology. “The best performing companies in every sector are leaders in technology,” Edmonds says. “Today, Chico’s – we are not leaders in technology – although we have the capability to do so without recent investment…”

At the end of the third quarter, Chico’s operates 655 women’s specialty stores, including stores in 47 states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico operating under the Chico’s, White House/Black Market and Soma by Chico’s brands.

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