As health restrictions continue amid the coronavirus pandemic, another chain of stores says they'll have to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections. In a release published Thursday, the parent company for Lane Bryant, Ann Taylor and Justice, says they plan on reducing the number of their stores by 56%.
According to the release from the New Jersey-based Ascena Retail Group, they plan to "reduce their store fleet from approximately 2,800 stores to approximately 1,200 stores," the company said in court records Thursday.
"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.”
The company said it also plans to shutter all of its Catherines plus-size stores as well as a significant number of the tween-branded Justice stores. A select number of Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lane Bryant and Lou & Grey stores will also be shuttered.
Closing sales will last between 30 to 60 days from the filing date, depending on the store's location, the release states.
Experts say up to 25,000 stores could close this year alone as health restrictions continue as COVID-19 continues to spread through the United States. According to one study, the coronavirus pandemic caused the global economy to lose $3.8 trillion as more than 147 million people around the world found themselves unemployed.
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