The downfall of Ascena Retail Group, Inc., the parent company of Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant, and DressBarn, was largely foretold by our FRISK® score prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With millions of women unemployed or working from home as a result of coronavirus restrictions, the demand for women’s professional clothing — Ascena’s core product — has plummeted in the last several months. The financial danger, however, predates the pandemic. The acquisition of the aforementioned Ann Taylor and sister brand Loft in 2015 was intended to bolster revenue by attracting customers willing to pay higher prices. In actuality, the move stuck the company with more than $1 billion USD in debt without increasing sales.
Here's how the FRISK® score regressed in recent months:
Ascena was losing money hand over fist, posting a net loss of at least $600 million in 2019, compared with a loss of $9 million in 2016. COVID-19 provided the coup de grace to Ascena Retail Group.
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