Days after a women’s clothing retailer announced it was seeking bankruptcy protection, it was revealed that at least two of its local stores are closing while others in the area are apparently being spared, at least for now.
Included in the closures are the Justice store at Emerald Square in North Attleboro and one at Wrentham Village Premium Outlets, along with stores at the Dartmouth Mall and in Braintree and Warwick.
The Justice brand will shutter more than 600 stores, according to parent company Ascena Retail Group, which filed for Chapter 11 protection Thursday. Justice has more than 800 stores in the U.S.
According to court records, Ascena intends to “transition Justice to a primarily online platform.” Justice was formerly known as Limited Too and its products are aimed at tween girls.
New Jersey-based Ascena, which also operates Lane Bryant, Catherines, Ann Taylor, Loft, Lou & Grey and Cacique, plans to shutter around 1,600 of its 2,800 stores, according to court documents.
Ann Taylor has a factory store at Wrentham Village and there is a Lane Bryant at Emerald Square. Among the other brands owned by the company, there is also a Loft Outlet in Wrentham Village and another Loft store at Mansfield Crossing.
Those stores were not on the list of closings supplied by SB360 Capital Partners, the firm handling the store closing sales for Ascena. A few others around the state were listed, however, the closest being the Lane Bryant at the Walpole Mall.
Ascena has joined a growing list of mostly clothing retailers that have filed for Chapter 11 in recent weeks. Among them are Brooks Brothers, which also has a location at Wrentham Village, and J.C. Penney, an anchor store at Emerald Square.
The retailers were already struggling with weak sales, but the forced closure of nonessential stores in March to reduce the spread of the coronavirus put them further in peril.
Roughly 40 retailers, including big and small companies, have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy so far this year, exceeding the number of retail bankruptcies for all of 2019.