You may not know the name Ascena Retail Group, but you know the stores it owns, like Ann Taylor, dressbarn, Lane Bryant, Maurices, among others. Many of these stores could soon be closing if Ascena follows through on its proposal to shutter as many as 650 locations.
Ascena revealed the plans — which would axe some 250 or more stores this summer, with another 400 closures over the next two years — as part of an “aggressive” transformation plan Thursday after reporting a net loss of $1 billion for the third quarter.
CEO David Jaffe told investors on a call that the company has put in place a plan intended to combat the slumping retail environment and cut costs by $250 million to $300 million by 2019.
To achieve this reduction, the company has focused on optimizing its fleet — otherwise known as its store footprint — by working to “close or achieve substantial rent reductions” in more than 650 stores.
These stores represent 25% of the company’s locations, which include 4,800 locations operating under the Lane Bryant, Maurices, Justice, dressbarn, Ann Taylor, Lou & Grey, Loft, and Catherine’s brands.
As part of the plan Ascena has already identified more than 250 locations that will be permanently closed through July 2017, Jaffe said.
It is unclear what brands will be closing stores and where these stores are located. We’ve reached out to Ascena for additional information.
The remaining 400 stores will be closed if specific rent concessions are not obtained through landlord negations before July 2019.
“We are confident we can create a leaner more profitable Ascena,” Jaffe told investors on the call.