For reasons that aren't quite explicable, Ascena Retail Group Inc. tends to be left out of discussions about trouble in the specialty apparel business.
Perhaps it's because the publicly traded company -- whose chains include Ann Taylor, Loft and Lane Bryant, among others -- doesn't fit tidily into a narrative about leveraged buyouts in retail going sour. Or maybe it's because Ascena's struggles have lacked the schadenfreude-ready twists that put its peers in the headlines.
But whatever the reason, it should go overlooked no longer: Ascena is in tatters. And the window for executives to fix it is closing quickly -- if such a window exists at all.. . . more