Dressbarn was founded in Connecticut nearly 60 years ago, and now shoppers are devastated to hear that its closing all of its doors for good.
“I’m just devastated this is the one place where I can find jeans that fit me and I just feel so sad,” said Jackie Doyle from Enfield.
On Monday, Ascena, the company that owns Dressbarn and other brands like LOFT, Lane Bryant and Ann Taylor, announces it’s closing all 650 of its Dressbarn and Roz & Ali stores, saying in a press release that they want to focus on their most profitable brands.
Fred McKinney from Quinnipiac University’s School of Business says the closure does not come as a surprise.
“Retail is in a terrible situation right now, I mean, it’s not just Dressbarn, it’s across the board,” McKinney said.
Customers are noticing it too.
“Enfield is losing every time we turn around,” said Judy Schutz from Enfield. “That’s the only clothing shop here, there’s no Macy’s, there’s no J.C. Penney’s, there’s no individuals. They are the only ones here.”
“I was a little bit surprised, actually,” said Brianna Dirico from East Longmeadow, Mass. “I don’t know where everybody’s gonna go shop, everything’s online now.”
McKinney says if you want to make the most of the sales, don’t wait.
“Go and buy what you want and you’ll probably get a few percents off now. You may get a few percents more later, but what you want may not be there.”
McKinney says the “Amazon Effect” and a trade war with China are the reason so many retailers are closing their physical storefronts.
“Consumers are now used to rolling out of bed, looking on their cellphone, picking out a nice pair of shoes, pushing send, and receiving those shoes the next day,” McKinney said. “A lot of this is companies at the highest level nipping it in the bud and realizing that the $20 or $25 dress that they bought from China is now going to cost 40 bucks and they’re not going to be able to raise the price that much because you’ve got Amazon out there who can buy it for less and deliver it to you.”
He says it makes sense for a company like Ascena to focus its resources on its more profitable lines.
“There’s gonna be a move towards strength, and so companies that have multiple lines and multiple brands are going focus on those brands that are going be most immune from the changes that are taking place.”
While online shopping may be taking over, some say it’s just not the same as shopping in-store. Gina Fasser in Suffield is one of them.
“You can actually go to and try on clothes and have that experience,” said Fasser. “So many times you buy things online and they don’t look anything like you think they’re going look like, so it’s unfortunate.”