Ascena Retail Group announced it will close hundreds of stores over the next two years. CEO David Jaffe said 250 stores will be permanently closed by July 2019. ABC reports each Ascena Retail brand — Dressbarn, Justice, Lane Bryant, Catherines, Ann Taylor, LOFT, and Lou & Grey — may see some stores close. Jaffe also announced an additional 400 stores could close if rent can't be renegotiated. Ascena reported a net loss of more than $1 billion in the third quarter of the 2017 fiscal year. "Make no mistake, we were very disappointed with our performance for the quarter," Jaffe stated in a call with investors this past week.
Total Retail's Take: Another one bites the dust. Store closings are, unfortunately, a bit of a trend this year. Today's "on-demand" consumers are causing big shifts in the retail industry, requiring an all-on commerce environment that's more than just a store presence. Many brands are moving to a more digital-focused approach to help keep current customers happy and acquire new ones. Figuring out how stores fit into this equation is a question many organizations — including Ascena Retail Group — are trying to answer.