Ascena Retail Group, Inc. Announces Strong Holiday Sales and Raises Fiscal 2012 Earnings Per Share Guidance

-- Consolidated December Comparable Store Sales Increase 14% --

ICR XChange 2012

SUFFERN, N.Y.--()--Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA) today announced strong holiday sales and is raising earnings per share guidance for its current fiscal year ending July 28, 2012.

The Company noted that comparable store sales for the fiscal month of December increased 14% on a consolidated basis. By brand, dressbarn increased 12%, maurices increased 6% and Justice increased 19%.

As a result of better-than-expected holiday season sales and margin performance, the Company is raising its adjusted earnings per share guidance for Fiscal 2012 to a range of $2.60 to $2.70 per diluted share, compared to its previous guidance of $2.55 to $2.65.

David Jaffe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ascena Retail Group, Inc., commented, “We are pleased that sales at all three brands accelerated as the holiday season progressed, including strong, across-the-board growth in our e-commerce business. In particular, our investment in inventory versus year-ago levels helped drive strong December sales. Though we remain cautious, we are encouraged by the consumer’s strong response to each of our brands and expect to report mid-single digit comparable store sales increases for the second quarter.”

The Company also noted that it will be presenting at the 14th Annual ICR XChange Conference to be held at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach, Florida on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 9:40 a.m. ET.

The Ascena Retail Group investor presentation will be webcast live and can be accessed at http://www.ascenaretail.com.

About Ascena Retail Group, Inc.

Ascena Retail Group, Inc. is a leading national specialty retailer of apparel for women and tween girls, operating through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, the dressbarn, maurices and Justice brands. The Company operates through its subsidiaries over 2,500 stores throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada, with annual revenues of approximately $2.9 billion.

dressbarn offers casual, career and special occasion fashion apparel and accessories at value prices for women ages 35-55, operating 825 stores in 47 states. maurices offers casual and career apparel and accessories at value prices to the fashion-conscious woman, ages 17-34 with a 20-something attitude, and operates 804 stores in 44 states. Justice offers trend-right apparel and accessories at value prices for tween girls ages 7-14 and operates 932 stores in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.

For more information, visit www.ascenaretail.com, www.dressbarn.com, www.maurices.com and www.shopjustice.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements made within this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. The Company does not undertake to publicly update or review its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that our projected results expressed or implied will not be achieved. Detailed information concerning a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the information contained herein is readily available in the Company’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended July 30, 2011 and Form 10-Q for the quarter ended October 29, 2011.

Contacts

Ascena Retail Group, Inc.
Investor Relations
845-369-4600
or
ICR, Inc.
James Palczynski, 203-682-8229
Senior Managing Director
jp@icrinc.com

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Contacts

Ascena Retail Group, Inc.
Investor Relations
845-369-4600
or
ICR, Inc.
James Palczynski, 203-682-8229
Senior Managing Director
jp@icrinc.com