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/ Source: TODAY
By Eun Kyung Kim

The Dressbarn clothing chain will wind down operations as part of a larger plan to close all of its stores, the company has announced.

No timeline was given for the closure of its approximately 650 locations, but the women’s retailer will remain open for business for the time being, along with its website, the company said in a statement. There will be no changes to the company’s return, refund, or gift-card policies or its loyalty-rewards programs.

Dressbarn stores have failed to operate "at an acceptable level of profitability in today's retail environment," the company said in a statement.Getty Images

“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,” Steven Taylor, the company’s chief financial officer, said in the statement.

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“During the wind down process, we will continue to provide our customers with the same great experience both in-store and online, offering them even better deals and value,” he continued. “We will work to assist our associates through the transition and maintain existing relationships with our vendors, suppliers, and other key stakeholders through this process.”

Ascena Retail Group, Dressbarn’s parent company, said the decision to shut down operations will have no impact on the operations of its other brands, which include Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant, Catherines and Justice.

“Dressbarn’s wind down is another significant step taken to advance Ascena’s ongoing transformation,” it said in a separate statement. “This move is in line with the Company’s commitment to comprehensively assess and optimize its portfolio by focusing resources on its most profitable brands to position the business for long-term growth and enhance shareholder value.”

Dressbarn’s news is the latest among a string of closures announced this year for brick-and-mortar stores that used to be shopping mall staples. In February, Payless ShoeSource said it had started its liquidation process in anticipation of closing all 2,100 of its U.S. stores. The news came shortly after Charlotte Russe, a clothing store aimed at teens and young adults, announced it would shutter all of its 500 locations.

And while not closing shop, Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, L Brands Inc., said earlier this year it would close 53 of its 1,143 Victoria’s Secret and Pink stores. The downsizing reflects an era when physical store outlets find themselves scrambling to compete against internet sales and big-box stores such as Target and Walmart.