Ascena Retail Group

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Ascena Retail Group, Inc.
IndustryRetail (women's clothing)
FoundedStamford, Connecticut, United States (February 13, 1962)
FoundersRoslyn Jaffe, Elliot Jaffe
HeadquartersMahwah, New Jersey, United States
Number of locations
2,764 (Feb. 2020)[1][2]
Area served
United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico
Key people
Lizanne Kindler (CEO)[2]
ProductsWomen's clothing products (district stores for young women and older women)
RevenueDecrease US$5.493 billion (2019)[3][4]
Decrease US$-782 million (2019)[4]
Decrease US$-661 million (2019)[4]
Total assetsDecrease US$ 2.7 billion (2019)[5]
Total equityDecrease US$ 151 million (2019)[5]
Number of employees
53,000 (Aug. 2019)[3]
ParentSycamore Partners
SubsidiariesAnn Taylor
Lane Bryant
Lou & Grey

Ascena Retail Group, Inc., is an American retailer of women's clothing. Ascena also owns Lane Bryant clothing store brand, and is the parent company of Ann Inc., operator of Ann Taylor and Loft stores.

Chairman Emeritus Elliot Jaffe and his wife and co-founder, Roslyn, own about 25% of Ascena.[citation needed]


Founding and growth (1962–2019)[edit]

The first Dressbarn 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 when women were entering the workforce in greater numbers.[citation needed]

The company began trading on NASDAQ (symbol DBRN) in 1982. In January 2011, to reflect its broader holdings,[6] the company was reorganized as a Delaware corporation named Ascena Retail Group, Inc. The company's NASDAQ symbol also changed to ASNA in 2011.[7]

In 2005, Ascena Retail Group acquired Maurices Inc. from American Retail Group. The name Ascena is derived from the previous parent company of Maurices, C&A Netherlands. A.merican S.ervices C. en A. whereby "en" is "and" in Dutch.[citation needed]

In 2009, Ascena Retail Group expanded into the girls' clothing market by purchasing Tween Brands, the owner of the Justice chain of 891 stores.[8] Justice, which is aimed at girls between ages 7 and 14, is the successor of Limited Too, originally launched in 1987 by The Limited. 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.[citation needed]

In 2012, Ascena Retail Group acquired Charming Shoppes, which was the parent holding company for Lane Bryant, Cacique and Catherines Plus, for $900 million.[citation needed]

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]

On May 1, 2019, David Jaffe stepped down as Ascena's CEO and as chairman of the board after a 27-year tenure, although he retained a non-chair board seat. Ascena Brands president and CEO Gary Muto replaced Jaffe as Ascena Retail Group's CEO. Ascena president and Chief Operating Officer Brian Lynch also left the company on May 1.[11][12]

On May 20, 2019, Ascena announced that it was closing all of its approximately 650 Dressbarn locations, which they did on December 26.[13]

Pandemic and closures (2020-2021)[edit]

On July 23, 2020, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced the closing of all Catherines and Lou & Grey stores, a significant number of Justice stores, and a select number of Ann Taylor, LOFT, and Lane Bryant stores.[1][14][15][16] On November 11, 2020, Ascena Brands announced the closure of all remaining Justice stores as well as the online website after the brand was sold to Bluestar Alliance LLC.[citation needed] In December 2020, a study from Coresight Research found that of all American retailers, Ascena Retail had closed the most locations in 2020, at 1,200 closures of 8,400 in the country overall.[17]

On December 23, 2020, Ascena announced that Sycamore Partners has completed its acquisition of Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lou & Grey and Lane Bryant brands. Ascena is now a privately held company owned by Sycamore Partners and no longer a publicly traded company and has emerged out of bankruptcy.[citation needed]

On January 4, 2021, Gary Muto stepped down as CEO of Ascena and in place Lizanne Kindler was named as the Executive Chair and Interim Chief Executive Officer of Ascena.[18]


  1. ^ a b "Ascena, owner of Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant, files for bankruptcy". 23 July 2020. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Ascena Retail Group Inc. (ASNA) Profile". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Document". Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "ASNA: Ascena Retail Group, Inc. - Income Statement - Zacks Investment Research". Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  5. ^ a b "ASNA: NA - Balance Sheet".
  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. ^ "Ascena Retail Group Inc. - Company Information". The New York Times. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  8. ^ Mattioli, Dana (2012-05-01). "Retail Rival to Buy Lane Bryant Parent". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-05-16.
  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. Archived from the original on 2015-09-05. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  11. ^ "Ascena founder's son steps down as CEO". Retail Dive. Retrieved 2019-05-16.
  12. ^ "C-suite shakeup at Ascena Retail Group as longtime CEO leaves". Chain Store Age. 2019-05-02. Retrieved 2019-05-16.
  13. ^ "Dressbarn to close all 650 stores, shutter entire business". NBC News. May 21, 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-05-21. Retrieved 2019-10-26 – via Reuters.
  14. ^ "Ascena Retail Group Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy". Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  15. ^ Al-Muslim, Aisha (2020-07-23). "Ann Taylor Owner Files for Bankruptcy". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  16. ^ "What Is Lou & Grey (+ Why I Am This Brand's Biggest Fan)". It's Causal. Retrieved 2022-09-14.
  17. ^ Jordan Valinksy (December 13, 2020), "The 30 retailers and restaurant chains that filed for bankruptcy in 2020", CNN
  18. ^ "Hear Sycamore Resets Ascena Management". Retrieved 2021-09-27.

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