Ascena Retail Group has completed its acquisition of US plus-size women's wear retailer Charming Shoppes, and is working towards shedding the Fashion Bug and Figi's brands.

Ascena announced the acquisition of the owner of the Lane Bryant and Catherines Plus Sizes brands in May for around US$890m.

On Friday, it said that it will close the Fashion Bug value women's wear business by early 2013. Charming Shoppes closed some 124 Fashion Bug stores during 2011 and had previously announced plans to close certain Fashion Bug stores. Charming Shoppes' website says that it operates around 600 stores across 43 states.

Ascena is also looking to divest Charming Shoppes' Figi business, which markets food and speciality gift products. Ascena said that while Figi's is growing and profitable, it is a different type of business to Ascena's other apparel brands.

"We are delighted to announce the completion of this exciting merger with Charming Shoppes," said Ascena president and CEO David Jaffe.

"We believe that we have a significant opportunity to fully realise the significant potential of this business. The Lane Bryant and Catherine's businesses are extremely complementary to our other concepts and we expect them to integrate seamlessly."

"We believe there is an excellent opportunity to streamline the business, capture efficiencies and to share resources. We are confident that our combined company will have significant competitive advantages and that this transaction will enable us to continue to demonstrate our leadership position in the speciality retail market.

"Over time, we also are confident that this merger will enable us to reach new record levels of financial performance and create value for our stockholders."