Dressbarn’s parent company, Ascena retail group, inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA), announced on Monday it will wind down the value clothing chain’s operations.
Gary Muto, Dressbarn Chief Executive Officer, said the Company will close all of its nearly 650 stores. Until then, customers can shop in-store an online as usual. There are no changes to Dressbarn’s return, refund, or gift card policies as of yet.
“We are proud of the important role that Dressbarn has played in the retail industry as a female-founded company offering affordable fashion for the working woman. From our first store, opened in Stamford, Connecticut in 1962, to where the Dressbarn brand has evolved to today, it has been an honor to serve as a fashion destination for so many generations of women,” said Muto.
The Company struggled to entice new customers as more women steer towards other fashion retailers like Urban Outfitters and Zara. Even Target (NYSE: TGT) continues to gain a larger share of the apparel market. Ascena indicated that Dressbarn’s wind down would not affect its other apparel brands, which include Ann Taylor and LOFT. Shares of Ascena are down over 60% over the last 12 months.
Ascena’s announcement makes Dressbarn the latest retailer to die out this year. Over 6,000 store closures have been announced so far in 2019 by companies like Family Dollar, Gymboree, Charlotte Russe, and Gap. Retailers reported 5,864 store closures in all of last year, according to a report from Coresight Research. That’s after 2017 was a record year for closures announced by U.S. retailers amounting to more than 8,000.