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Byline: REBECCA KLEINMAN
White House|Black Market: A Return to the Brand's DNA
FORT MYERS, FLA.
White House|Black Market has returned to its specialty store roots in a big way.
Acquired by Chico's FAS Inc., in 2003, the niche brand with a minimal color scheme suffered the usual corporate setbacks, from growth pressures to quality control issues resulting from unrealistic demands. It also had drowned in the mass market's sea of sameness. President Donna Noce, an Ann Taylor and Lerner alumna who came on board in 2007, reports it was not only time to revisit the brand's DNA, but orchestrate a focused strategy to move forward.
"We've undergone a total restoration based on the original White House boutique in Baltimore, which was very aspirational and detail driven," she said from her sunny corner office within Chico's campus here of multiplying warehouses and old rural canals where the occasional reptile still roams.
The redirection has already proven its value boosted somewhat by the early backing of First Lady Michelle Obama, who famously wore one of the retailer's dresses on "The View" …