Dressbarn to close all of its stores, including at Grand Forks' Columbia Mall

'Difficult but necessary' action comes as profitability fades for the national retailer. It's the latest in the list of retail closures in Grand Forks.

Dressbarn logo

Women’s clothing store Dressbarn will close all of its stores, including its location in Grand Forks' Columbia Mall.

The company that owns the retailer, Ascena Retail Group, announced in a press release that it will “wind down” Dressbarn’s operations. The company has not been profitable, the release said. A final shutdown date has not yet been announced.

“For more than 50 years, Dressbarn has served women’s fashion needs and we thank all of our dedicated associates for their commitment to Dressbarn and our valued customers,” company CFO Steven Taylor said in the release. “This decision was difficult but necessary. The Dressbarn chain has not been operating at an acceptable level of profitability in today’s retail environment.”

Along with the store in Grand Forks, Dressbarn also has locations in Bismarck, Minot and West Fargo. Dressbarn operates about 650 stores nationwide. All Dressbarn stores and the website will stay open for now, according to the release.

Other stores that have closed in the Columbia Mall in recent years include Macy’s, Sears, Chico’s, Rue 21, Payless Shoes and Yankee Candle. Columbia Mall management could not be reached for comment by press time on Tuesday.


Grand Forks Chamber President and CEO Barry Wilfahrt said he saw the news Tuesday morning.

“It continues to be challenging for all retail businesses,” Wilfahrt said. “Finding the right mix between brick-and-mortar business and online business is proving to be difficult for all retailers. It will continue to evolve as the customers' buying habits evolve."

Wilfahrt also said the Chamber’s Market Capture Assessment Committee will announce its data collection plans in coming weeks. The committee will look for experience, retail and event options to bring into the Grand Forks region.

“The one thing I can tell you is it will look much different than in the past,” Wilfahrt said.

Meibers is the business reporter for the Herald. She joined the team in September of 2018. Have any story ideas, questions or concerns? Email her at or call her at (701) 780-1114.
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