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Dressbarn going out of business; 650 U.S. stores to close

By Clyde Hughes
Dressbarn going out of business; 650 U.S. stores to close
Nearly 700 Dressbarn locations in the United States will close, the retailer said. File Photo by Neil Hall/EPA-EFE

May 21 (UPI) -- Dressbarn is going out of business and will close hundreds of stores in the United States, threatening nearly 7,000 jobs, its parent company said.

Ascena Retail Group, which also owns brands Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant and Catherines, said Tuesday the closures amount to about 650 stories in the budget women's clothing chain.

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Ascena said it's ending Dressbarn to focus on its other, more profitable brands.

"Dressbarn's wind down is another significant step taken to advance Ascena's ongoing transformation," the company said in a statement. "This move is in line with the company's commitment to comprehensively assess and optimize its portfolio."

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Neither Ascena nor Dressbarn gave a specific date for the store closures. Dressbarn said that information will come soon, and added customers can keep shopping.

"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," Dressbarn Chief Financial Officer Stephen Taylor said.

"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."

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Dressbarn said employees will be told first when it's decided when the closures will happen. Vendors and suppliers will be paid through the wind-down period, the company said.

Dressbarn's announcement continues a string of bad news for retailers this year. Party City announced this month it will close 45 stores and Family Dollar is shuttering 400 locations. Bed, Bath & Beyond said last month it's closing 40 stores.

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