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Dressbarn to close 53 stores in August, saying the wind down of the business is 'on target'

Key Points
  • Ascena Retail Group says the winding down of its Dressbarn business is going as planned. 
  • It says landlords have been cooperative. 
  • All 650 or so Dressbarn stores are expected to shut by the end of the year. 
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Ascena Retail Group on Thursday said the winding down of its Dressbarn business is on target, as it released the locations of 53 stores slated to shut by the end of August.

The announcement came amid chatter the business would be forced to file for bankruptcy to break leases.

Ascena announced in May that it planned to wind down Dressbarn and ultimately shut all 650 or so of the women's clothing shops in order to focus on its more profitable brands, like Ann Taylor and Loft.

There has since been some speculation that Dressbarn as a standalone unit would ultimately file for bankruptcy if its landlords didn't agree to relieve the brand of its lease obligations, as it started shutting hundreds of stores within malls and shopping centers across the country. Retail property owners have already been hit by a massive wave of store closures this year, so any further announcements only add to a backlog of empty space.

But the company on Thursday said everything is going as planned and that all stores are expected to be dark by the end of the year.

"We have received overwhelming landlord support for our plan, which will allow us to implement our wind down in a manner that provides the best recovery for our landlords. Further, we are current, and expect to remain so, with our vendors and suppliers," Steven Taylor, Dressbarn CFO, said in a statement.

The company said in a press release that it has started working with Gordon Brothers Retail Partners to assist with the store closures, and with Hilco Streambank to look for buyers for Dressbarn's intellectual property. It also said it's still receiving "fresh inventory," but encouraged customers to "shop early for the best selection, and use any outstanding gift cards." 

Malfitano Partners is managing the overall wind down, according to a person familiar. 

Dressbarn, which has been around for more than five decades, has struggled to grow in apparel retailing as more women steer toward fast-fashion retailers such as H&M and Zara, off-price chains such as T.J. Maxx and Ross Stores, and even Target. Amazon also continues to take a larger share of the apparel market online.

Dressbarn at the end of June announced the first round of locations, a total of 28 stores, set to close this summer, kicking off the winding-down process.

Ascena shares are down more than 75% this year and trade below $1.

Here's a complete list of the Dressbarn stores set to close in August, according to the company's website:

  • Valley Bend at Jones Farm - 2750 CARL T JONES DRIVE HUNTSVILLE AL
  • Slatten Ranch - 5749 LONE TREE WAY ANTIOCH CA
  • Imperial Center - East 2500 EAST IMPERIAL HIGHWAY BREA CA
  • Hamilton Plaza Shopping Center - 1650 SOUTH BASCOM AVENUE CAMPBELL CA
  • Elk Grove Commons - 9630 BRUCEVILLE ROAD ELK GROVE CA
  • The Marketplace at River Park - 7560 N. BLACKSTONE AVENUE FRESNO CA
  • Ladera Center - 5373 W CENTINELA AVENUE LADERA CA
  • Citrus Plaza - 27430 W LUGONIA AVENUE REDLANDS CA
  • Shelton Square - 876 BRIDGEPORT AVENUE SHELTON CT
  • Corbins Corner Plaza - 1473 NEW BRITAIN AVENUE WEST HARTFORD CT
  • Eden Square Shopping Ctr - 408 EDEN CIRCLE BEAR DE
  • Shoppes at Paradise Key - 4429 COMMONS DRIVE EAST DESTIN FL
  • The Loop - 3204 NO JOHN YOUNG PARKWAY KISSIMMEE FL
  • Lake Buena Vista Factory - 15629 STATE ROAD 535 LAKE BUENA VISTA FL
  • Pembroke Commons - S.C. 450 NO UNIVERSITY DRIVE PEMBROKE PINES FL
  • Crossroad Commons - 1419 FLAMMANG ROAD WATERLOO IA
  • Winston Plaza Shopping Ctr - 1036 W. NORTH AVENUE MELROSE PARK IL
  • Clearwater Springs - 5025 E 82ND STREET INDIANAPOLIS IN
  • Valparaiso Walk - 91 SILHAVY ROAD VALPARAISO IN
  • Chisholm Trail Mall - 601 SE 36 STREET NEWTON KS
  • Olathe Pointe - 14665 WEST 119TH STREET OLATHE KS
  • River Marketplace - 4401 AMBASSADOR CAFFERY PARKWAY LAFAYETTE LA
  • Lake Charles Power Center - 3431 DEREK DRIVE LAKE CHARLES LA
  • University Place - 7044 YOUREE DRIVE SHREVEPORT LA
  • Highland Commons - 212 COOLIDGE STREET BERLIN MA
  • The Loop - 90 PLEASANT VALLEY STREET METHUEN MA
  • Northborough Crossing - 9110 SHOPS WAY, E-110 NORTHBOROUGH MA
  • Redstone Plaza - 99 MAIN STREET STONEHAM MA
  • Festival at Bel Air - 5 BEL AIR SOUTH PARKWAY BELAIR MD
  • Woodyard Crossing - 8775-A BRANCH AVENUE CLINTON MD
  • Greenway Shopping Center - 7525 GREENBELT ROAD GREENBELT MD
  • Largo Town Center - 908 LARGO CENTER DRIVE LANDOVER MD
  • Laurel Shopping Center - 332 DOMER AVENUE LAUREL MD
  • Fairlane Green Shopping Center - 3240 FAIRLANE DRIVE ALLEN PARK MI
  • Town Center - 4830 WILSON AVENUE GRANDVILLE MI
  • Novi Town Center - 43193 CRESENT BOULEVARD NOVI MI
  • Pavilions at Hartman Hertiage - 20050 E JACKSON DRIVE INDEPENDENCE
  • The Outlets of Mississippi - 200 BASS PRO DRIVE PEARL MS
  • Westgate Commons - 1500 EAST 13TH AVENUE WEST FARGO ND
  • Clark Commons Shopping Center - 1255 RARITAN ROAD CLARK NJ
  • The Summit Reno - 13921 S VIRGINIA STREET RENO NV
  • McKinley Milestrip Center - 3540 MCKINLEY PARKWAY BUFFALO NY
  • Dressbarn New York - 1180 AVE OF THE AMERICAS NEW YORK NY
  • Post Rd Plaza - 853 PELHAM PARKWAY PELHAM NY
  • Champlain Centre - 60 SMITHFIELD BOULEVARD PLATTSBURGH NY
  • The Mall at Greece Ridge - 468 GREECE RIDGE CENTER DRIVE ROCHESTER NY
  • Crossroads Plaza - 481 TARRYTOWN ROAD WHITE PLAINS NY
  • Pleasant Valley Shop Center - 1183 PLEASANT VALLEY ROAD PARMA OH
  • Cascade Station - 9963 NE CASCADES PARKWAY PORTLAND OR
  • Silver Spring Commons SC - 6520 CARLISLE PIKE MECHANICSBURG PA
  • Lincoln Mall - 622 GEORGE WASHINGTON HIGHWAY LINCOLN RI
  • Seven Corners Center - 6308 SEVEN CORNERS CENTER FALL CHURCH VA