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Ascena's (ASNA) New dressbarn Store Opens in Arkansas

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Ascena Retail Group Inc.ASNA enhances its store presence with the inauguration of a new dressbarn store in Little Rock, AR. The store will be located at 11201 Bass Pro Parkway.

Shoppers at the aforementioned store will gain access to designer clothing as well as smart style solutions while getting personalized wardrobe advice from expert associates on the floor. With its attractive, unique and reasonably priced product assortments, ranging from sizes 4-24, dressbarn intends to enhance customers' shopping experience.

Apart from dressbarn, Ascena has been implementing the store expansion strategy for its other brands as well. Recently, the company announced the opening of two Lane Bryant outlets in Ohio and Utah. The Ohio store is located at Liberty Center in Liberty Township, while the store in Utah is at Station Park in Farmington.

Coming back to dressbarn, Ascena currently operates over 830 dressbarn stores in the United States. Lane Bryant, on the other hand, operates about 775 full-line and outlet stores in the United States, targeting plus-size women aged 30 to 45, and caters to women's sizes 14-28. The brand also operates online.

In the recently reported first-quarter fiscal 2016, the company's adjusted earnings from continuing operations rose 9.1% year over year to 36 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 29 cents. Results were backed by robust sales at maurices and Lane Bryant, coupled with gross margin recovery at the underperforming brands.

Encouraged by the solid start to fiscal 2016, Ascena reiterated its earnings guidance for the fiscal, still projecting earnings in the band of 75-80 cents per share.

Also, Ascena recently closed the acquisition of ANN INC. in a transaction combining cash and stock. The combination of these two companies with complementary businesses lifted Ascena to the position of the third-largest specialty apparel retailer and the largest U.S.-based retailer focused exclusively on female consumers.

With the consistent implementation of its store expansion strategy, Ascena aims to extend its presence and recognition across communities. As of Oct 24, 2015 and following the acquisition of ANN Inc., Ascena operates about 5,000 stores across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

Ascena currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same industry include American Eagle Outfitters Inc. AEO , Abercrombie & Fitch Co. ANF and Express Inc. EXPR , 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 Nasdaq, Inc.


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

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