SUFFERN, N.Y. — The Ascena Retail Group will acquire Charming Shoppes Inc., parent company of Lane Bryant, for about $890 million.
The move gives Ascena -- which owns the Dressbarn, Maurices and Justice chains -- entry to the steadily-growing large-size women's clothing market. In addition to Lane Bryant, Charming Shoppes also owns the Fashion Bug and Catherines Plus Sizes banners. It operates more than 1,800 stores nationwide. In 2011, nearly 85% of Charming Shoppes’ sales involved plus-sized apparel.