|Type||Public (NASDAQ: ASNA)|
|Industry||Retail (Women's clothing)|
|Founded||Stamford, Connecticut, U.S. (1962)|
|Headquarters||Mahwah, NJ, U.S.|
|Number of locations||3,900 (2014) |
|Key people||Roslyn Jaffe, Founder
David R. Jaffe, President and CEO.
|Products||Women's clothing products (district stores for young women and older women)|
|Revenue||$4.81 billion |
|Operating income||$265 million (FY 2013) |
|Employees||14,000 (full time) |
History and operations
The first Dress Barn was opened in 1962 in Stamford, Connecticut, by Roslyn Jaffe. Jaffe saw the opportunity to provide wear-to-work dresses and clothing for the working woman during a time in the U.S. when women were entering the workforce and there were few options.
The company began trading on NASDAQ (symbol DBRN) in 1982. In January 2011, to reflect the company's broader holdings, the company was reorganized as a Delaware corporation named Ascena Retail Group, Inc. At this time the NASDAQ symbol was also changed to ASNA.
Ascena also owns the Maurices, Justice, Lane Bryant, and Catherines clothing store brands. The Dress Barn brand targets women ages 35-50. Dress Barn, Dress Barn Woman (larger sizes), and combination stores sell in-season women's apparel and accessories at value prices and cater to professional women. Chairman Elliot Jaffe and his wife and co-founder, Roslyn, own about 25% of The Dress Barn.
In 2009, DressBarn expanded into the girls' clothing market by purchasing Tween Brands, the owner of the Justice chain of 891 stores. Justice, which is aimed at girls between ages 7 and 14, is the effective successor of Limited Too, originally launched in 1987 by The Limited to serve the same market. In 1999, The Limited spun off Limited Too as a separate company. In 2004, Limited Too launched the Justice chain, aimed at a lower price point in the same market. Limited Too changed its name to Tween Brands in 2008, and the company had almost completely converted its remaining Limited Too stores to Justice stores at the time of the DressBarn acquisition.
David Jaffe, president and chief executive officer of Ascena, said Dressbarn is opening a New York design studio.
In November 2013, Judith Langley, who was executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Charming Charlie’s, was appointed executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. She replaced Keith Fulsher, who retired.
Building collapse at Savar
On 24 April 2013, the eight-story Rana Plaza commercial building collapsed in Savar, a sub-district near Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. At least 1,127 people died and over 2,438 were injured. The factory housed a number of separate garment factories employing around 5,000 people, several shops, and a bank and manufactured apparel for brands including the Benetton Group, Joe Fresh, The Children's Place, Primark, Monsoon, and DressBarn. Of the 29 brands identified as having sourced products from the Rana Plaza factories, only 9 attended meetings held in November 2013 to agree a proposal on compensation to the victims. Several companies refused to sign including Walmart, Carrefour, Bonmarché, Mango, Auchan and Kik. The agreement was signed by Primark, Loblaw, Bonmarche and El Corte Ingles.
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- Zain Al-Mahmood, Syed (24 April 2013). "Matalan supplier among manufacturers in Bangladesh building collapse". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- 'Extreme Pricing' At What Cost? Retailer Joe Fresh Sends Reps To Bangladesh As Death Toll Rises - Forbes
- Nelson, Dean (24 April 2013). "Bangladesh building collapse kills at least 82 in Dhaka". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 24 April 2013.
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- Ovi, Ibrahim Hossain (2013), Buyers' compensation for Rana Plaza victims far from reality, retrieved 16 December 2013