Ascena Retail Group has begun reopening stores in some states

Ascena Retail Group Inc., the retail chain based in Mahwah, said this week it has begun reopening its stores nationwide, as it attempts to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Wednesday, the chain — whose brands include Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant and Justice, among others — had reopened about 450 of its 2,800 U.S. stores, while adhering to local regulations and federal safety guidelines, CEO Gary Muto said. The stores are located in states that have lifted restrictions on non-essential businesses.

The company had closed all of its stores March 18 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We took immediate actions to preserve liquidity and reduce costs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, while continuing to heighten engagement with our customers,” Muto said. “We have successfully leveraged our digital capabilities to respond to the evolving needs of our customers across our portfolio of well-known and beloved brands.”

Ascena said store revenue represented about 60% of its total revenues for fiscal 2020 before the closing. Since then, the company’s e-commerce business saw a year-over-year increase of 9% in April 2020, but total revenue for Q3 was down 45% year-over-year.

The company noted that its fiscal third-quarter 2020 information was preliminary.

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