Weather Forecast


29 Ascena jobs to be eliminated in Duluth

The Maurices headquarters building in downtown Duluth in June 2017. (Andrew Krueger /

Ascena Retail Group is eliminating 29 jobs over the next year in Duluth as part of corporate restructuring at Maurices' parent company.

"Because of the new managed services model, approximately 115 positions across Ascena locations will be eliminated over the course of the next year," a company news release reported Thursday. "Employees were informed of this change today and will continue working in their current roles for the next six to 12 months, depending on their functional responsibility."

The positions targeted Thursday are in human resources and finance, according to the release. The move is meant to help Ascena provide a "better, faster and more cost-efficient way of running its business."

The news follows a string of downsizing announcements for the retailer this summer. In June it was announced that 10 positions would be cut in Duluth and up to 650 stores across Ascena's seven brands could close over the next two years. Ascena operates about 4,850 stores, more than 1,000 of which are Maurices.

Ascena's restructuring is meant to help the company fight declining sales that have dogged its brands — Ann Taylor, Loft, Maurices, Dressbarn, Lane Bryant, Catherines, Justice and Lou & Grey — in recent years.

"We are in a time of unprecedented change in our industry, and are making necessary changes to transform Ascena to be able to compete successfully in a rapidly shifting competitive space. We acknowledge and honor the service of our impacted associates, and will work with them to provide transitional support and ensure a seamless transition over the coming months," Ascena CEO David Jaffe said in the release.

The announcement came after the stock market closed Thursday. Ascena shares ticked up nearly 10 percent on Thursday, to $2.26.

Brooks Johnson

Brooks is an investigative reporter and business columnist at the Duluth News Tribune.

(218) 723-5329