May 23, 2019

NJ-Based Dressbarn to Shutter 650 Stores Nationwide

MAHWAH, NJ—Women’s fashion retailer Dressbarn has announced it will be closing all of its approximately 650 store locations nationwide.

Dressbarn is part of the Mahwah, NJ-based Ascena Retail Group, Inc., a leading national specialty retailer that also owns Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lou & Grey, Lane Bryant, Catherines, Cacique and Justice brands. Ascena operates approximately 3,500 stores throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Steven Taylor, chief financial officer of Dressbarn, says, “For more than 50 years, Dressbarn has served women’s fashion needs, and we thank all of our dedicated associates for their commitment to Dressbarn and our valued customers. This decision was difficult, but necessary, as the Dressbarn chain has not been operating at an acceptable level of profitability in today’s retail environment.”

He continued that during the unspecified wind down process, Dressbarn “will continue to provide our customers with the same great experience both in-store and online, offering them even better deals and value. 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.”

Dressbarn was founded in 1962 by Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe, who initially opened a single store in Stamford, CT. The company grew to a nationwide chain of approximately 650 stores that currently employ approximately 6,800 associates.

The retailer maintained its headquarters for a considerable period in Rockland County, NY until its relocation to Mahwah, NJ approximately seven years ago.

The company explains on its website that “despite great efforts by so many to better position Dressbarn for the future, Dressbarn has not been operating at an acceptable level of profitability to sustain itself.”

The company adds that that the wind down of Dressbarn is geared to “position Ascena for long-term growth and enhance shareholder value.”

Plans for closing individual Dressbarn locations, including information about store closing sales, will be shared by the company during the wind down process. Dressbarn has retained A&G Realty Partners to assist on real estate-related matters in connection with the store closures.

Dressbarn associates will be notified when decisions are made about specific store closures and provided with transition support, the retailer states. Dressbarn intends to continue paying its vendors and suppliers in full in the ordinary course for products and services provided to Dressbarn during its wind down process.

Troy Taylor, president of financial advisory and investment banking firm Algon Group, has been appointed as independent director to the board of directors of The Dress Barn, Inc.