US women's wear retailer Chico's plans to expand its namesake brand into Canada for the first time, by opening three stores there later this year.

The 'boutiques' are all scheduled to open in Ontario in August.

The news comes less than a year after Chico's expanded its White House Black Market's (WH|BM) chain internationally for the first time, with stores in Canada.

"We believe Canada is a great addition to the international footprint for Chico's, as it represents a natural extension of the brand," said president and CEO David Dyer. "From our robust customer file, we already know that there are a significant number of Chico's customers in Canada."

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Chico's FAS Announces International Expansion

The Chico's Brand to Enter Canada

Retailer To Open First of Three Canadian Locations at Square One Shopping Centre

NEW YORKMay 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Chico's FAS, Inc. announces international expansion for the Chico's Brand (Chico's) with the opening of three new Canadian boutiques.  Scheduled for late August, 2014 – the locations include Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga, ON, Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket, ON and Mapleview Shopping Centre in Burlington, ON. Square One is owned by Oxford Properties Group and  Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo). Upper Canada Mall is owned by Oxford Properties Group and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).  Mapleview Shopping Centre is owned and operated by Ivanhoe Cambridge.

The Chico's brand was founded in 1983 as a boutique selling Mexican folk art and cotton sweaters from a store on Florida'sSanibel Island. Today, Chico's sells exclusively designed, private branded clothing for women featuring a combination of great style with on-trend, expressive and one-of-a-kind designs to yield a wardrobe that is fashionable, unique, and comfortable.

"We could not be more thrilled for the opening of the first Chico's boutique in Canada," said Cinny Murray, Chico's Brand President. "I'm so excited to bring the women of Canada fabulous Chico's fashion, this is an incredible growth opportunity for our brand."

Known for exclusive artisan pieces and one-of-a-kind prints and patterns, Chico's is also home to many signature collections that feature chic, wardrobe-building must-haves that also have signature Chico's style. The So Slimming™ collection of great-fitting pants uses Hidden Fit™ technology, interior stitching and shaping panels to create an instantly slimming effect. The Travelers™collection features fashion-forward, wrinkle-resistant knits that are lightweight and go from day-to-night with ease. The Zenergy® collection offers activewear with a glamorous twist, featuring vivid color, vibrant patterns, and comfortable silhouettes to wear everywhere. Chico's also offers a wide range of fabulous jewelry and accessories.

"We believe Canada is a great addition to the international footprint for Chico's, as it represents a natural extension of the brand," says David Dyer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Chico's FAS, Inc.  "From our robust customer file, we already know that there are a significant number of Chico's customers in Canada."

The store design of the Chico's stand-alone boutiques will be based on a new store prototype. The elevated concept includes a mix of curated finishes and materials based in warm tones with subtle animal prints. Modern interpretations of the Chico's brand heritage are brought to life with iconic woven entry doors, luggage details on fixtures and layers of artifacts as props.

The Chico's Square One Shopping Centre boutique grand opening and ribbon cutting is slated for late August, 2014.

ABOUT CHICO'S FAS, INC. 
The Company, through its brands – Chico's, White House | Black Market, Soma Intimates, and Boston Proper, is a women's specialty retailer of private branded, sophisticated, casual-to-dressy clothing, intimates, complementary accessories, and other non-clothing gift items.

The Chico's brand, which began operations in 1983, primarily sells exclusively designed, private branded clothing. The styling is chic, unique, and charismatic with on-trend, expressive, one-of-a-kind designs created to illuminate the women wearing them.

As of March 31, 2014, Chico's operated over 600 boutiques and over 100 outlets across the U.S., the District of ColumbiaPuerto Rico and Mexico. Chico's also publishes a monthly catalog and offers round-the-clock shopping at www.chicos.com.

ABOUT OXFORD PROPERTIES GROUP 
Oxford Properties Group is a global platform for real estate investment, development and management, with over 1,400 employees and over $21 billion of real assets that it manages for itself and on behalf of its co-owners and investment partners. Established in 1960, Oxford has regional offices in Toronto, London and New York, and the company's portfolio includes approximately 50 million square feet of office, retail, industrial, multi-family and hotel properties. Oxford is the real estate arm of the OMERS Worldwide Group of Companies.  For more information about Oxford, visit:  www.oxfordproperties.com.

ABOUT IVANHOE CAMBRIDGE 
Ivanhoe Cambridge is a world-class real estate company that leverage its high-level expertise in all aspects of real estate including investment, development, asset management, leasing and operations, to deliver optimal returns for its investors.  Its assets, held through multiple subsidiaries and located mainly in Canadathe United StatesEuropeBrazil and Asia, totalled more than Cdn$40 billion as of December 31, 2013.  Its portfolio consists mainly of shopping centres, office and multiresidential properties.  Ivanhoe Cambridge is a real estate subsidiary of Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (lacaisse.com), one of Canada's leading institutional fund managers. 

Original source: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/chicos-fas-announces-international-expansion-259041741.html