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Dressbarn Starts Store-closing Sales

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Women's clothing chain Dress Barn Inc. said it started store-closing or inventory clearance event sales at the 53 stores it plans to close by the end of August.

"We encourage customers to take advantage of deeper discounts, shop early for the best selection, and use any outstanding gift cards," Steven Taylor, Chief Financial Officer of Dressbarn said in a statement.

The company expects to close all its stories by end of 2019. It also released a list of the nine stores closing in July and the 53 stores closing in August. Dressbarn has hired Gordon Brothers Retail Partners to help with the store closures.

In May, Dressbarn had said it would wind down all its operations and close all 650 of its stores across the U.S. The women's fashion store, founded in 1962, employs about 6,400 people.

These actions are in line with its parent company Ascena Retail Group's strategy to focus more on its most profitable brands.

Ascena Retail is a specialty retailer that owns brands like Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lou & Grey, Lane Bryant, Catherines, Cacique and Justice.

There was speculation that Dressbarn would file for bankruptcy as a standalone unit if its landlords failed to agree to relieve the struggling chain of its lease obligations.

"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," Taylor said.

Dressbarn has retained Hilco Streambank to look for buyers of the company's intellectual property assets, including its U.S. and international trademarks, domain names, and other assets.

Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are continuing to struggle amid stiff competition from online retailers and the change in shopping habits of customers.

In May, Topshop Topman had announced its plans to close all elven of its U.S. stores as its London-based parent company Arcadia Group sought to restructure after filing for bankruptcy protection.

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