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Jul 23, 2020
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Lane Bryant, Ann Taylor owner files for bankruptcy protection due to COVID-19, closing all Catherines stores
KELLY TYKO | USA TODAY
43 minutes ago
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The parent company of Lane Bryant, Ann Taylor and the Justice tween brand has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a move spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Jersey-based Ascena Retail Group, which also operates Ann Taylor Loft, Catherines, Lou & Grey and Cacique, plans to close an undisclosed number of the company's 2,800 stores, Ascena said in a news release Thursday.

The company said it plans to shutter all of its Catherines plus-size stores as well as a "significant number of Justice stores and a select number of Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lane Bryant and Lou & Grey stores."

“The meaningful progress we have made driving sustainable growth, improving our operating margins and strengthening our financial foundation has been severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic," Carrie Teffner, interim executive chair, said in the release. "As a result, we took a strategic step forward today to protect the future of the business for all of our stakeholders.”

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According to frequently asked questions posted on Ascena's restructuring website, the final number of store closings "will be determined based on the ability of Ascena and our landlords to reach agreement on sustainable lease structures."

The closing sales are expected to last 30 to 60 days from "the filing date depending on the store location," Ascena said.
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