A retail clothing store at Pikeville Commons is set to close, but it remains uncertain exactly when the store will close for good.
Ascena Retail Group announced Monday that its Dressbarn clothing store brand will be phased out as part of a company-wide “transformation.” The plan affects the Pikeville Dressbarn store, which will close at some point. According to a statement from the company, the “wind down” of Dressbarn is part of a plan for Ascena to focus on more profitable brands.
The closure of the Pikeville store will affect nine employees — two full-time employees and seven part-time employees. A final closing date has not been released by the company.
Pikeville Dressbarn Manager Renee Thacker said she is “devastated” at the news her store will close.
“It’s a very emotional time,” Thacker said. “You build up a rapport with all these ladies who come in looking for that outfit for a cruise they’ve got coming up, or they’ll come in looking for new outfits after they’ve lost some weight and you get to know them.”
Thacker said word of the closure came late Monday afternoon, and a conference call Tuesday confirmed the news. She said no indication has been given as to how much longer her store will stay open.
“We could be here four weeks and we could be here four months,” she said. “We just don’t know.”
Thacker said the only orders her employees were given was to continue to operate as “normal” for now. She said “normal” for her store is good sales.
“Our store was doing very well, and is still doing very well,” she said. “This is a busy time for us. Our store is not a reason they’ve decided to close Dress Barn, I wouldn’t think.”
Thacker said she opened Pikeville’s Dress Barn store four years ago, and now, she will be tasked with closing it. She said she hopes another store will open in Pikeville to serve her customers.
“One door closes and another will open, and hopefully something will come in here and be something for the ladies in the community,” she said. “It’s very hard to not look at them as friends or family. I hate that this is happening. This is not just a job for me. It’s more like family.”