Business

Dressbarn stores to close, including 10 in Iowa

Model wearing Dressbarn clothing in 2011 (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Model wearing Dressbarn clothing in 2011 (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

Ascena Retail Group said on Monday it will wind down its women’s budget clothing chain, Dressbarn, shutting about 650 stores in the United States, as it sharpens its focus on profitable brands.

Iowa has 10 Dressbarn stores — in Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Dubuque, Waterloo, Williamsburg, Davenport, Ankeny, West Des Moines, Council Bluffs and Sioux City.

The company, which also operates fashion brands Ann Taylor and Lou and Grey, said the move would strengthen its overall financial performance.

“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,” Dressbarn Chief Financial Officer Steven Taylor said.

In a statement to customers on the retailer’s website, Ascena CEO Gary Muto wrote, “It has been our pleasure to serve you, making it all the more difficult to let you know that the decision has been made to begin winding down the Dressbarn business. This means that we will eventually be closing all of our stores.”

Dressbarn, in business for more than 50 years, has struggled to grow sales in a competitive market where it battles with online retailers such as Amazon.com and off-price retailers including TJX Cos.

Reuters contributed to this article.

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