Ann Taylor, Loft Parent Company To Close At Least 250 Stores

Several brands, owned by the Ascena Retail Group, are prepping the closure of 250 to 650 stores in the next two years, according to a ABC7 report.

It's unclear how many of each specific brand are expected to close, though 250 locations will definitely close. The San Francisco-based company said it is seeking to reduce its debt load by $900 million, and it expects to operate its business and majority of its 1,300 stores during the restructuring.

Another 400 stores could close if lower rents can't be arranged, according to the publication.

Jaffe said the retail group is encountering "persistent traffic decline" at its brick-and-mortar stores.

The news came-out in the company's third quarterly earnings report to investors. Children's clothing retailer Gymboree Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection Monday and said it plans to close "certain stores" out of its 1,281-store portfolio.

Other chains have closed stores because they've entered bankruptcy proceedings, such as Payless ShoeSource Inc.

Sales fell to $1.57 billion, down 6% from $1.67 billion.

Ascena joins a growing list of retailers and restaurants that have announced closures this year.

Ascena's stock was up 15 cents, or 7%, to $2.36 a share in midday trading Monday.

  • Zachary Reyes