Dressbarn parent company Ascena Retail Group announced it would begin to wind down the brand’s retail operations including the closure of all 650 stores, without giving a firm date. In 2017 the company said the shuttering would take place through 2019.
“It has been our pleasure to serve you, making it all the more difficult to let you know that the decision has been made to begin winding down the Dressbarn business,” said Gary Muto, CEO of Ascena Retail Group in a letter to customers, thanking them for 57 years of loyalty. “This means that we will eventually be closing all of our stores.”
All Dress Barn locations are open and conducting business as usual including ecommerce sales. Customers can continue to shop at Dressbarn in store and online and use Dressbarn-branded credit cards for purchases. There are no changes to its return, refund or gift card policies.
“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,” said CFO Steven Taylor in a release. “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.”
Plans for closing individual Dressbarn locations, including information about sales, will be shared during the wind down process. Associates will be notified and provided with transition support.
CNN reported that the closures will not affect other Ascena Retail brands including Lane Bryant, Loft and Ann Taylor.
USA Today reported this has been an especially tough year for retailers with more store closures announced so far in 2019 – over 7,000 – than in all of 2018.