As many veteran retail brands struggle to stay connected with their customers, beloved womenswear’s company Chico’s has continued to grow, finding new ways to innovate as a business and to delight the women who shop with them. As they put it, “For every piece we create, we ask how it will be unique, inspire women to feel good (no matter their age), and help them express their personality and individuality with confidence.”
Founded as a small boutique, in 1983, Chico’s has since grown, opening more than 600 brick-and-mortar locations throughout the United States and establishing a forward-looking web presence as well. At the heart of all the company’s initiatives has been one unifying principle: a desire to form more meaningful connections with their customer base.
Based in Fort Myers, Chico’s is a brand built for women, and they’ve built a leadership team that reflects their audience. In an industry where 92% of the CEOs are men, the brand’s female leadership includes CEO Bonnie Brooks, COO Ann Joyce, Apparel Group President Molly Langenstein, among others. Last year, Forbes named Chico’s parent company one of America's Best Employers for Women, and the Women’s Forum of New York honored them for their commitment to “advancing women’s leadership and raising the bar for gender-balanced boards.”
The company and its leadership have also demonstrated a commitment to social outreach through feminist charitable organizations. This past fall, for example, Chico’s associates helped construct a new home for a mother and her family, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build.
All of Chico’s innovations are designed to create a bond of trust between the company and their customers. For example, their Style Connect program allows customer to message, text, or call Chico’s specialists for advice on building the perfect outfit. It’s easy to schedule an appointment, but for those who prefer the intimacy of a face-to-face discussion, there’s also the option to talk about in person at a Chico’s location. Langenstein, whose résumé includes decades of experience in customer-service positions at Macy’s and Bloomingdales, calls Style Connect “a fantastic tool to support our clientele and educate her on how to maximize her wardrobe and outfitting ideas.”
Chico’s digital store also allows you pick up any item that you order online at a physical store, giving the company another way to, as Langenstein puts it, “stay connected with [their] eight million customers.”
Chico’s site boasts plenty of other features designed to customize customers’ online shopping experience. The online store is lovingly organized into subcategories accounting for fresh trends, evergreen styles, and every weather condition. It also features an Online Exclusive section with portals that guide consumers through a series of inventive looks that are not available at Chico’s stores or other retailers.
During the shopping experience advanced analytics and AI technology are used to suggest great outfits that are personalized to the customer’s specific interests, recreating the experience of having a knowledgeable salesperson steering you gently in the right direction.
Chico’s partnership with Amazon Pay is one of the many ways the brand is working to give hundreds of millions of Amazon customers a fast, familiar virtual shopping experience. Cutting payment time drastically, Amazon Pay allows Chico’s shoppers to follow their instincts and with minimal clicks to purchase the things they love.
See everything Chico’s has to offer right here.