Ascena Retail Group Inc. – the owner of Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant and the Loft announced it has been extremely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be shutting down 1,200 out of 3,000 stores, reports Bloomberg.
The company is preparing to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy in an attempt to eliminate $700 million of its $1.1 billion debt load. According to the report, Ascena has seen less profit and traffic in their brick and mortar shops while their online stores have seen a rise in sales.
The coronavirus pandemic forced many retail stores to close their doors resulting in loss of jobs and financial gain. Although stores have reopened as of early May, reports suggest traction has not gotten back to where it was before stores closed in March at the beginning of the virus.
“The company’s earnings and cash flow have been “significantly reduced” despite efforts to preserve liquidity, Carrie Teffner, Ascena’s interim executive chair, said in the update.”
Lane Bryant is a beloved retailer for plus size women, who’ve long shopped their for their extended size and trendy clothing. Despite news many of Ascena’s physical businesses will close, Lane Bryant is doing its best to encourage shoppers to go back to their stores.
“We 👏🏽can’t 👏🏽wait 👏🏽 to see you! Most of our stores are open—check our store locator to see if yours is one of them!” they wrote on Instagram.
Ascena Retail Group Inc. isn’t the only company to claim financial strife, Brooks Brothers recently made headlines for also filing bankruptcy. Neiman Marcus and potentially Forever 21 also filed for bankruptcy.