Coverage: Dressbarn is closing all 650 stores
Dressbarn announced Monday “plans to commence a wind-down of its retail operations, including the eventual closure of its approximately 650 stores.”
Kelly Tyko of USA Today had the news:
All Dressbarn stores are open along with the website, the statement said. There are no current changes to Dressbarn’s return, refund, or gift card policies.
“During the wind-down process, we will continue to provide our customers with the same great experience both in-store and online, offering them even better deals and value,” Taylor said. “We will work to assist our associates through the transition and maintain existing relationships with our vendors, suppliers, and other key stakeholders through this process.”
According to the statement, plans for closing individual stores and information about store closing sales “will be shared during the wind-down process.”
Dressbarn is part of New Jersey-based Ascena Retail Group, whose other brands include Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant, Catherines, Cacique and Justice. The company recently sold its Maurices brand.
Lauren Thomas of CNBC.com reported that the chain has not been profitable:
Ascena, which also owns apparel chains Ann Taylor and Loft, said the decision wasn’t an easy one. But the “Dressbarn chain has not been operating at an acceptable level of profitability in today’s retail environment,” Dressbarn CFO Steven Taylor said in a press release.
The retailer said customers will be able to continue to shop from Dressbarn stores and online, as the closures won’t take place immediately. It hasn’t outlined an exact timeline for the winding-down process of the business. It said its vendors and suppliers will continue to be paid on “normal terms,” and that employees will be updated as decisions are made about when specific locations will close.
The announcement comes amid a wave of store closures across the country this year. More than 6,000 closures have been announced so far in 2019 by companies ranging from Payless ShoeSource to Gymboree to Charlotte Russe, Victoria’s Secret and Gap. That’s more store closures than in all of 2018, when 5,864 closures were announced over the duration of the entire year, according to a retail real estate tracker by Coresight Research.
Marianne Wilson of Chain Store Age reported that it has hired a real estate firm to help with the closings:
The retailer, which is owned by Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant parent Ascena Retail Group, has retained A&G Realty Partners to assist on real estate-related matters.
Currently, all Dressbarn stores are open and doing business as usual, as its e-commerce site, with no changes to the chain’s return, refund, or gift card policies. Information about store closing sales will be shared at a later date, according to the retailer. Dressbarn said it intends to continue paying its vendors and suppliers in full in the ordinary course.
In a statement, Ascena said the move is in line with the company’s commitment to “comprehensively assess and optimize its portfolio by focusing resources on its most profitable brands to position the business for long-term growth and enhance shareholder value.” Earlier this month, Ascena completed the sale of its Maurices division to an affiliate of British private equity firm OpCapita.