Leading US retailer of exclusively designed, private-label women's casual clothing and accessories, Chico's FAS Inc, on Tuesday reported a 26.8 per cent surge in January sales to $28.9 million from $22.8m in the year-ago period. In a statement, the retailer - which owns 300 stores and has 11 franchisees - said comparable store sales for company-owned stores increased 22.4 per cent for the four week period ending February 2, 2002 compared to the same period last year.