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Owner Of Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant Announces Hundreds Of Store Closures

Ascena Retail Group announced plans to close between 250 and 650 stores within the next two years, including Ann Taylor, Dress Barn and Lane Bryant locations nationwide.

Lane Bryant Store, North Haven, Connecticut

The women’s apparel brand owner revealed the news during a conference call following the release of its earnings report on June 8, ABC7 reports. Ascena CEO David Jaffe told investors that it is definite 250 stores will have to close, with another 400 locations on the line should the company be unable to lower rents there. That is about a 25% reduction of Ascenas' store count. Jaffe did not provide specifics about which brands would be most affected by the closures.

The retailer is not alone. Dozens of its peers have announced store closures this year due to shrinking store sales and an excess of underperforming stores. Just last week Sears added an additional 66 stores to its chopping block, bringing to 246 its total store closures for the year. Cushman & Wakefield Vice President of Americas Retail Research Garrick Brown predicts a total of 9,000 or 10,000 stores will close this year, with that number rising to 13,000 locations next year.

Ascena, which also owns women’s brands Justice, Maurice and Catherines, reported a net income loss of $5.29/share in fiscal Q3, Reuters reports, with same-store sales down 8%.