Dressbarn has set 25 store closings in June and three more in July, as the specialty chain begins the arduous process of going of out business.
Last May, Dressbarn announced that it would shut down its entire fleet of 650 stores after years of declining profitability. Dressbarn stores are primarily located in strip malls. The shutdown affects the 6,800 employees of the chain. No specific timing on the closings of the 650-unit Dressbarn chain and dressbarn.com chain has been revealed, but the company will be updating its store closing list from time to time.
Although it’s a store banner that’s rich in history, for several years Dressbarn has been a drag on its parent company, the Ascena Retail Group, and losing market share to hipper fashion chains such as Zara. Dressbarn was founded in 1962 by Roslyn and Elliot Jaffe.
Ascena has been taking additional steps to downsize and improve its portfolio and balance sheet. Back in March, Ascena sold a majority stake in its Duluth, Minn.-based Maurices division to a subsidiary of British private equity firm OpCapita. The deal was valued at $300 million.
Further restructurings could occur within the Ascena group, considering performances are mixed across the stable of brands.
Other divisions at the Ascena Retail Group have had up-and-down performances over the years, including Ann Taylor, while the more casual and less expensive Loft division has had a better track record.
Ascena also operates Lane Bryant, which specializes in large sizes and has struggled with uneven performance for many years, as well as Catherines, another large-size division. Ascena also operates Lou & Grey, for easy casual sportswear and loungewear, Cacique for plus-size intimates, and Justice for tween girls.