AP NEWS

Iconic chain launched in Stamford to close 650 stores

May 21, 2019

Dressbarn, started in Stamford as an affordable fashion clothing store and in time becoming an anchor of a major retail company, is shutting its some 650 retail stores, weeks after the son of its founder stepped down as CEO.

Dressbarn’s Mahwah, N.J.-based parent Ascena Retail Group dropped the bombshell announcement late Monday afternoon, with the company stating it will continue to honor all returns, refunds and gift cards and that the stores will continue to operate normally until it decides on closure dates.

Ascena said it would assist some 6,800 employees transitioning to new jobs. The company lists 18 Connecticut locations today including in Danbury, Norwalk, Branford, Orange, Shelton, Southbury, Wallingford and Westbrook.

Ascena did not provide details on any potential sale inquiries for Dressbarn, with the company having sold its Maurices brand earlier this month to a London private equity investment firm in a transaction valued at $300 million.

In addition to Dressbarn, Ascena brands include Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Bryant and Justice.

Roslyn and Elliot Jaffe started Dressbarn in Stamford in 1962, with Ascena’s foundation maintaining an awards program to this day in Roslyn’s name, having awarded nearly $800,000 to nonprofits led by women that seek to improve the lives of women and children.

Ascena announced entering May that David Jaffe would retire as CEO, with Jaffe having led the company since 2002.

Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman

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