Ascena Acquires Ann Inc. for $2 Billion in Cash, Stock

In Reports, What's New, Industry News by Accessories Staff

Ann TaylorNew York-based Ascena Retail Group Inc finalized a deal yesterday to acquire women’s apparel retailer Ann Inc for $2.15 billion. Both retailers provide apparel and accessories for women in the 20 to 40 age group, according to Reuters. Ann Inc is the owner of Ann Taylor and LOFT brands, two of the most famous female fashion brands in North America.

“This powerful transaction joins two strong and highly complementary organizations and management teams and dramatically reinforces our leadership position in women’s specialty apparel retailing,” said David Jaffe, Ascena’s President and Chief Executive Officer, in a statement. “With the addition of the Ann Taylor and LOFT brands, ascena will become one of North America’s largest and most diversified specialty apparel retailers, with a tremendous set of opportunities to continue to expand its leadership position in the women’s apparel market.”

Data shows that Ascena is acquiring a fast-growing online retailer in Ann with a strong social media following, according to Internet Retailer, which publishes the Top500Guide.com. Ann Inc. has grown its online sales 114% over the past five years to $405 million in 2014 from an Internet Retailer-estimated $189.5 million in 2010.

The move is likely to strengthen Ascena’s position with upper middle-class women, which make up Ann Inc.’s primary audience. Top500Guide.com data shows that women account for 65% of all shoppers on Ann Inc.’s sites and 54% of all shoppers have an annual household income of over $60,000. Currently, 45% of Ascena’s shoppers have an annual household income of over $60,000, according to Internet Retailer.

Ascena Retail Group, Inc. offers apparel, accessories, footwear, intimates, wear-to-work, and casual sportswear; lifestyle products, social occasion apparel, career wear, dressy apparel, and active wear. Its principal retail brands comprise Justice, Brothers, Lane Bryant, Cacique, Right Fit, Maurices, Studio Y, Dressbarn, Catherines, Maggie Barnes, Liz&Me, and Serenada. As of September 22, 2014, the company operated approximately 3,900 stores in the United States and Canada. It also sells its products online. The company was formerly known as Dress Barn, Inc. and changed its name to Ascena Retail Group, Inc. in January 2011. Ascena Retail Group, Inc. was founded in 1962 and is based in Mahwah, New Jersey.

ANN INC. is the parent Company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, two of the leading women’s specialty retail fashion brands in North America. The Company operated 1,025 Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Factory, LOFT and LOFT Outlet stores in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada as of February 1, 2014. Our Ann Taylor and LOFT brands are also available in more than 100 countries worldwide online at AnnTaylor.com and LOFT.com.

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