The retail industry has suffered another blow as Dressbarn’s parent company, Ascena Retail Group Inc., announced it was shutting down and closing all 650 stores, including 17 on Long Island, by the end of the year. The announcement was made on May 20. The women’s clothing chain employs about 6,800 people.
“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 Chief Financial Officer of Dressbarn Steven Taylor in a statement.
“During the wind down process, we will continue to provide our customers with the same great experience both in-store and online, offering them even better deals and value. We will work to assist our associates through the transition and maintain existing relationships with our vendors, suppliers and other key stakeholders through this process,” he said.
Ascena has said it wants to focus on its other brands, such as Ann Taylor, Loft and Lane Bryant.
Suffolk County has nine Dressbarn stores including Centereach, Port Jefferson Station, Hauppauge, East Northport, Huntington Station and Riverhead.
According to the chain’s website, the company was founded in 1962 by Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe, who recognized the need of women who were entering the workforce for a convenient one-stop shop where they could find fashion at a value. The single store in Stamford, Connecticut grew to a nationwide chain.