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Flash Report

Ascena Retail Group Announces Closure of Dressbarn, Eliminating its Value Fashion Segment

Coresight Research

Key Points

On May 20, 2019, Ascena Retail Group announced the closure of its Dressbarn business. 

  • Dressbarn, a value fashion chain, operated 674 stores at the end of 2Q19. 
  • Dressbarn stores accounted for 15% of Ascena Retail Group’s total portfolio of 4,486 stores. 
  • In May 2019, Ascena Retail Group completed the sale of Maurices, its other value fashion brand, which had 943 stores. The Maurices transaction was valued at $300 million.

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On May 20, Ascena Retail Group reported that the company would close its Dressbarn business, which accounts for more than 15% of its store portfolio, with 674 stores at the end of the 2Q19, March 14, 2019. Dressbarn launched in 1962 and specialized in value fashion. The company’s CFO, Steven Taylor, reported in the press release that the chain has not been operating at an acceptable level of profitability.

Ascena Retail Group is a specialty retailer offering apparel, shoes and accessories for women under four segments: premium fashion, value fashion, plus fashion, and kids/tween retail. The company’s premium brands include Ann Taylor, Loft, and Lou & Grey; value brands include Maurices and (up until now) Dressbarn; plus fashion brands include Maurices and Catherines; and kids/tween fashion brand includes Justice.

In 2Q19, the company’s revenues totaled $1.69 billion with 2.0% comparable sales growth overall, with fashion and tween leading with positive comps.

Source: Company reports


Together, the company’s value fashion brands, Dressbarn and Maurices, accounted for 25% of the company’s overall sales and 36% of the company’s real estate. The company’s plus-size brands comprised 18% of the company’s segment sales and 24% of the real estate, shown in figures 2 and 3. 

Source: Company reports


Ascena Retail Group has been steadily closing stories in its portfolio over the past three fiscal years, with 190 store closures spanning Maurices and Dressbarn brands.

Source: Company reports


After the closure of the Dressbarn and acquisition of Maurices brand, the company will operate approximately 2,869 stores. 

According to the company’s press release, the Dressbarn closure will strengthen the company’s overall financial performance.

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