January 3, 2011, 2:52 PM

The Dress Barn completes its reorganization into Ascena Retail Group

Dressbarn, Maurices and Justice brands are now subsidiaries of Ascena.

Bill Briggs

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

The Dress Barn Inc., a retailer of apparel and accessories for women and girls, has completed a reorganization and is now Ascena Retail Group Inc.

The reorganization, which Ascena announced today, is designed to enable “strategic, operational and financial flexibility,” the company says. There will be no change in business operations, directors or executive officers of the company as a result of the reorganization, says Ascena.

As of Jan. 1, Ascena Retail Group is the new publicly held corporation and is now trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “ASNA.” Ascena’s retail subsidiaries include 2,487 stores and three e-commerce sites across its Dressbarn, Maurices and Justice brands. Tween Brands Inc., No. 278 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, operates Justice stores and the ShopJustice.com e-commerce site targeting girls ages 7 to 14.

Justice will launch a web-only line of clothing for boys this spring.

As a result of the reorganization, The Dress Barn's shareholders became stockholders of the Ascena Retail Group on a one-for-one basis.

“In recent years, we’ve become a fundamentally different company that extends well beyond the original Dressbarn concept and brand,” says David R. Jaffe, president and CEO of Ascena Retail Group. The new holding company structure “will enable each of our brands to better leverage our shared corporate infrastructure and to focus their efforts on delivering a great experience to their customers,” Jaffe says.

Ascena Retail Group is a relative newcomer to e-commerce, having launched Maurices.com in 2009 and Dressbarn.com in September 2010. The company acquired the Justice retail chain in 2009.

For the first quarter of fiscal 2011, ended Oct. 30, the company reported:

  • Total sales of $713.3 million, a 77% increase compared with $404.1 million for the prior year first quarter. The overall increase was primarily due to the inclusion of Justice sales of $290.6 million. The company did not break out online sales in its quarterly report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Comparable-store sales increased 4%.

Net income for the fiscal first quarter was $48.0 million, compared with net income of $21.7 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2010.

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