Ascena Opens Shared Services and Distribution Center in Ohio - Analyst Blog

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In keeping with its strategy of growing brand presence and facilitating improved supplies at its stores Ascena Retail Group Inc. ( ASNA ) is inaugurating its new services office complex and national distribution center, today.

Located at 200 Heritage Drive in Pataskala, OH, the new 880,000 square feet center will house about 850 employees. The company announced the construction of this new facility, close to the company's existing distribution center in Ohio, in January last year.

Of the total floor space, about 120,000 square feet will be occupied by the company's Shared Services Associates who render information technology, sourcing and centralized procurement related services to all of Acsena's retail brands including Lane Bryant, Justice, maurices, dressbarn and Catherines. The remaining 760,000 square feet will be a part of the company's distribution center that also serves all of Ascena's retail brands.

The new state-of-the-art office building is designed to feature an onsite café, fitness center and coffee bar along with unique collaborative work stations. Further, the new business center provides opportunity to create new jobs and improve the local economy.

Moreover, this superb new facility is expected to complement the company's store growth and brand development plan. Notably, Ascena remains keen on a thorough growth of its business as it continues to focus on expansion of its brand outlets. This is evident from the company's current pace of opening branded outlets including Lane Bryant, maurices and dressbarn stores.

The company's recent store openings for various brands include 3 dressbarn stores opened last week and 15 maurices stores, including 7 new store openings and 8 re-openings of remodeled stores, opened in June. Moreover, the company has opened about 24 new Lane Bryant stores since March-end 2014 and re-opened 1 remodeled store.

Currently, Ascena has nearly 775 Lane Bryant full-line and outlet stores, over 850 dressbarn and more than 900 maurices stores in operation.

Ascena Retail Group is a specialty retailer that offers clothing for women as well as teen girls and boys. The company provides apparel, accessories, footwear, undergarments and lifestyle products such as bedroom furnishings and electronics. The company's operating segments include Justice, Lane Bryant, maurices, dressbarn and Catherines. Some of the popular brands sold by the company include Justice, Brothers, Lane Bryant, Cacique, Right Fit, maurices, Studio Y, dressbarn, Catherines, Maggie Barnes, Liz&Me and Serenada.

As of Apr 26, 2014, Ascena operated nearly 3,900 stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. In its last earnings release, the company outlined its plan to open about 40-60 stores during fiscal 2014.

Ascena currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks among apparel and shoe retailers include Citi Trends Inc. ( CTRN ), The Men's Wearhouse Inc. ( MW ) and Kate Spade & Co. ( KATE ), all carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).


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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: CTRN , ASNA , KATE , MW

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