Casual Male CEO sees "big man's heaven" in new store

Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:52pm EDT
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By Alexandria Sage

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Casual Male Retail Group Inc says its new store concept, Destination XL, is seeing higher average transactions at its first outlets in a key test for the big and tall men's apparel chain.

Destination XL will eventually supplant the company's two chains currently serving shoppers at different price ranges: Casual Male XL and the higher-priced Rochester Big & Tall.

The company recently opened the first two Destination XL stores, one outside Chicago and a second in Memphis. Its third location, in Las Vegas, opened last week. The store is bigger and offers a greater variety than either individual chain.

"Now we have a vehicle that we can take anywhere," Chief Executive David Levin told Reuters in an interview. "It's like a Casual Male store on steroids."

Early reads on sales at the two newly opened stores show that average transactions are higher and that customers drove longer distances to shop at the store, said Levin. He cautioned that the data had not yet been quantified.

"We're very pleased with the higher transactions," said Levin. "We're very pleased with the early results."

The company reports second-quarter earnings on Thursday.

Investors question how many stores will open under the new Destination XL concept, and how soon, after the company decided to stop opening individual Casual Male and Rochester stores.   Continued...