Ascena Retail Group, the parent company for both Dress Barn and Ann Taylor, plans to close up to 650 stores in the next two years as a result of consumer’s shift to online shopping.
The Los Angeles Times and several other media outlets have reported that Ascena Retail Group President and CEO David Jaffe told analysts the company has identified more than 250 locations that will be closed permanently through July 2019, on top of the stores already closed this year.
Jaffe added that another 400 or so stores will be closed if the company is unable to obtain certain rent concessions from mall operators and other landlords.
Jaffe told analysts that Ascena is facing a “persistent traffic decline” and expects that to remain a “major headwind” for the company, according to CNN.
This news comes at a time when several major retail chains are closing store locations and/or filing for bankruptcy. Ascena Retail Group joins Macy’s, Sears, Kohl’s and several others that have been struggling in the face of an extremely challenging environment for brick-and-mortar retail.
Ascena Retail Group is also the parent company for Loft, Lane Bryant, Maurices, Catherines and Justice Kids.