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Dressbarn is winding down operations and closing 650 stores

Dressbarn is set to close down 650 stores (Credit: iStock)

Dressbarn is set to close down 650 stores (Credit: iStock)

Dressbarn is the latest casualty of the retail apocalypse.

Ascena Retail Group announced on late Monday it planned to wind down operations for its Dressbarn chain and close all of its 650 stores, according to a press release. The company did not give a date as to when it would officially close its stores. Ascena Retail Group also owns the Justice, Lane Bryant, and Catherines clothing store brands.

“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,” said Steven Taylor, CFO of Dressbarn, in a statement.

The women’s clothing retailer, founded in 1962 by Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe in Stamford, Connecticut, has about 6,800 employees, according to its website. Dressbarn has eight stores in South Florida, including two in Miami, one in Boca Raton and one in West Palm Beach. The company also has 10 stores in New York City and one in Los Angeles, according to its website.

Retailers like Dressbarn have faced significant challenges due to the rise of e-commerce and new fast-fashion brands such as H&M and Zara.

Over the past year, a number of retailers have shed hundreds of stores or filed for bankruptcy amid slowing sales. In February, Payless ShoeSource announced its plans for bankruptcy resulted in the closure of all of its 2,300 stores.

Real estate investors and developers are still trying to figure out what to do with distressed retailers and how to reposition the space caused by these closures. A report from CBRE found that fitness, furniture and entertainment businesses are likely to fill the vacant spaces in the Greater L.A. retail market.

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