Ann Taylor Loft, Lane Bryant the latest retailers to announce store closures

Ann Taylor stores, which include the Loft, Lane Bryant and the Dress Barn, will close more than 650 stores in the next two years, as it becomes the latest retailer to become the victim of online buying trends.

Ascena Retail Group is the parent company of those stores. It’s unclear whether the Tyler locations will be affected.

This comes just minutes after children’s retailer Gymboree announced it would close 450 stores nationwide.

“We continue to move aggressively to navigate our current environment,” Ascena CEO David Jaffe said in a press release. “Today’s hyper-competitive environment requires meaningful differentiation and deep customer connectivity, and we must improve execution across our portfolio.”

It’s part of a much larger trend.

“On Thursday, the company reported a 6 percent decline in net sales from the same time in 2016. Comparable-store sales at all of its brands saw declines, same-store sales fell 8 percent on the quarter,” reports the New York Business Journal. “Ascena brands are struggling as consumers eschew retail in favor of shopping on Amazon and at discount stores such as Marshalls or TJ Maxx. Other retailers such as Macy’s, JCPenney and Sears are seeing similar struggles.”

This story is developing.

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