Dress Barn Now Sells to Men With Maurices Purchase

Suffern, N.Y., Dress Barn, Inc. is spending $320 million to acquire Maurices, an apparel and accessories retailer that sells to both women and men. Dress Barn, which sells only to women, says it will finance the transaction through a combination of cash on hand and new credit facilities. Based in Duluth, Minn., Maurices operates 464 stores in 38 states, chiefly in strip centers and malls. Dress Barn, meanwhile, has 792 stores in 45 states.

For the year ended Feb. 28, 2004, annual sales amounted to $342 million. Annual sales of the merged company are expected to exceed $1.1 billion. Maurices will operate as a separate division of Dress Barn and will continue to be led by Lisa Rhodes, chief merchandising officer, and CFO George Goldfarb. Maurices is expected to open 20 new stores during the remainder of the year, and roughly 30 to 40 stores annually over the next several years.

In related news, Dress Barn reported earnings of $6.6 million in the first quarter, a 2.9% decrease when compared with earnings of $6.8 million. Same-store sales rose 1% while overall revenues increased 2% to $197.1 million.

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