Chico's hires new leadership amidst talks of going private

Chico's (NYSE:CHS) has hired Miki Racine Berardelli to serve as president of digital commerce, cheif marketing officer and executive VP. At the same time, the retailer is in talks about going private.

Berardelli most recently served as chief marketing officer at Tory Burch and was previously senior VP of marketing at Ralph Lauren.

It's a strategic move for the women's fashion brand, Berardelli has been recognized as one of the "Top Women in Cross-Channel Retail" and "Top 50 Women Brand Marketers."

"We've repeatedly stressed that a commitment to omnichannel innovation and customer-focus lie at the center of our company's multiple growth strategies," said David Dyer, president and CEO, Chico's. "Miki's talent and versatility will play a vital leadership role across all our marketing efforts and in particular how we advance and align e-commerce, digital marketing, social media and other ways to drive our company's growth in today's ever-changing retail landscape."

The appointment comes on the heels of an announcement that Todd Vogensen was named the retailer's senior VP of finance.

The new hire comes at the same time that an unnamed source told the Financial Times that Chico's is in talks with several potential private equity groups. It is unclear whether Chico's plans to sell the entire company or is seeking a partner.

Chico's has seen a dip in sales since the beginning of the year due to a downturn in mid-market retail spending. Chico's is not alone among retailers seeking an influx of capital from private equity, but is part of a growing trend. Mergers and acquisitions among U.S. retailers totaled $21.8 billion in announced deals thus far in 2014, more than double the same period from last year, reported the Financial Times.

For more:
-See this Chico's press release
-See this Financial Times article

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