Ascena Retail Group

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Ascena Retail Group Inc.
S&P 600 Component
IndustryRetail (Women's clothing)
FoundedStamford, Connecticut, U.S. (February 13, 1962)
FounderRoslyn Jaffe
HeadquartersMahwah, New Jersey, U.S.
Number of locations
3,900 (2014) [1]
Key people
Roslyn Jaffe, Founder
David R. Jaffe, President and CEO
[2] Elliot Jaffe, Chairman
ProductsWomen's clothing products (district stores for young women and older women)
RevenueIncrease US$ 6.995 billion (2016) [3]
Increase US$ 94.6 million (2016) [4]
Increase US$ -11.9 million (2016)
Total assetsIncrease US$ 5.506 billion (2016)
Total equityIncrease US$ 1.863 billion (2016)
Number of employees
40,000[5] (2017)
SubsidiariesAnn Taylor
Lane Bryant
Lou & Grey

Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (formerly Dress Barn and doing business as Dressbarn) is an American retailer of women's clothing. Ascena also owns the Maurices, Justice, Lane Bryant, and Catherines clothing store brands, and is the parent company of Ann Inc., operator of Ann Taylor and Loft stores.

Chairman Elliot Jaffe and his wife and co-founder, Roslyn own about 25% of Ascena.


The first Dress Barn was opened in February 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 in greater numbers and there were few options for buying more stylish and affordable workplace women's clothing.

The company began trading on NASDAQ (symbol DBRN) in 1982. In January 2011, to reflect the company's broader holdings,[6] the company was reorganized as a Delaware corporation named Ascena Retail Group, Inc.[2] (The name "Ascena" has no underlying meaning.)[7] At this time the NASDAQ symbol was also changed to ASNA.[8]

In 2009, Ascena Retail Group 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 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 Ascena acquisition.

In November 2013, David Jaffe, president and chief executive officer of Ascena, announced Dressbarn was opening a New York design studio.[2] Also 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.[2] She replaced Keith Fulsher, who retired.[2]

On May 18, 2015, Ascena Group agreed to a $2.16 billion acquisition of Ann Inc., the parent company of clothing retailers Ann Taylor and Loft.[9] Ascena Group completed its acquisition of Ann Inc on August 21, 2015. Ann Inc. operates as an Ascena Group subsidiary.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ascena Retail Group Inc. (ASNA) Profile". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e Moin, David (11 November 2013). "Judith Langley Named Dressbarn Merchandising Chief". WWD. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Ascena Retail Group Inc. (ASNA) - Key Statistics". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  4. ^ "ASNA: Income Statements". Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  5. ^ "Ascena Retail Group". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  6. ^ "The Dress Barn, Inc. Completes Delaware Holding Company Reorganization into Ascena Retail Group, Inc". Business Wire. January 3, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  7. ^ Daphne Howland (May 11, 2018). "The clock is ticking for Ascena". Retail Dive.
  8. ^ "Ascena Retail Group Inc. - Company Information". The New York Times. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  9. ^ "Ascena Buying Ann Taylor Parent For $2.16 Billion". Forbes. May 18, 2015. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  10. ^ "Ascena Retail Group completes approximately $2 billion acquisition of Ann". Fox Business. August 21, 2015. Retrieved August 25, 2015.

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