Dress Barn Vendor

Dress Barn Vendor

How to Sell to Dress Barn Stores and Become a Dress Barn Vendor

Dress Barn Stores ranks as one of the nation’s premier specialty women’s apparel retailers, specializing in careerwear and casualwear for middle-income shoppers.

In 1983, the company decided to go public, offering stock at $23 per share and giving itself more capital to expand. But with public ownership came additional responsibility: meeting expectations set forth by its new investors.


How to Sell to Dress Barn Stores

Dress Barn is hoping to shake its staid image and up its fashion offerings with the launch of DressBar, an exciting new brand which will feature designer collaborations via shop-in-shops at 25 existing locations. Initial collaborations include Carmen Marc Valvo dresses from Adrianna Papell’s Michael Smaldone collection as well as Mixt by Heidi Weisel dresses priced between $42 and $70 and available exclusively online through Dressbar website.

Dressbarn is joining Ann Taylor and J.Crew as women’s apparel retailers who have taken a gamble by stocking unique merchandise lines such as “fashionista” collections from designer collections. If Dressbar can replicate Ann Taylor and J.Crew’s success with these lines, their sales may skyrocket as well – giving it another way of standing out as one-stop shopping destinations for stylish women’s wear.

Dress Barn was established in 1962 when Elliot Jaffe, then the merchandising manager at Macy’s department stores, and his wife Roslyn opened its inaugural store in Stamford, Connecticut. Their mission was to offer discounted designer womens apparel that wasn’t as trendy but still fashionable enough for career-minded women.

By 1984, Dress Barn had expanded to 100 stores nationwide and acquired other chains such as Off the Rax (46 locations) and eight Gap locations (eight). By December, they had reached their current total of 157 nationwide.

As its business expanded, Dress Barn expanded into the retail market for plus-sized women’s clothing. In 1989, the Dress Barn Woman brand was introduced and targeted women between sizes 8-14. By the start of the 1990s, new stores typically combined Dress Barn and Dress Barn Woman stores.

Dress Barn had become one of the premier discount women’s clothing retailers by the turn of the decade and was even honored with Management Horizons, a division of Price Waterhouse, for their outstanding performance as a retailer. By 2000, however, Dress Barn began making major strides toward developing its private-label line of apparel and by 2002 it had made sportswear an integral component of its product offering.

Vendor Requirements

In 1962, Dress Barn began when Elliot Jaffe, then working as a merchandising manager at Macy’s department store in Connecticut, approached his wife Roslyn with the concept for an off-price women’s apparel business. Roslyn worked after-hours while Elliot retained his position at Macy’s; by the end of 1960 there were 307 locations of Dress Barn across America; these stores expanded gradually so as not to exhaust available capital resources.

During this period, Dress Barn also experimented with adding shoe and petite departments to select stores in an attempt to reach new target markets. In 1989, Dress Barn Woman was launched, targeting plus-sized women. Most new Dress Barn stores included both gender-based sections so the company could capitalize on its brand recognition across two demographic groups.

Dress Barn was facing an adverse economic environment that began to impact its profitability in 1998, as industry trends moved away from careerwear towards casual attire. Dress Barn responded by reducing prices and remerchandising stores accordingly to accommodate this shift in consumer demand.

Dress Barn is dedicated to cultivating highly efficient and productive relationships with all its vendors, with which it must develop effective procurement relationships. This requires having an in-depth knowledge of policies, processes and procedures surrounding ordering, receiving, returning and disbursing orders to its Distribution Center and Stores.

An essential aspect of understanding this process lies with an in-depth knowledge of EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), the standard used to exchange business documents between trading partners. EDI allows for automatic transmission of purchase order acknowledgements, invoices, remittance advices and inventory management data between trading partners.

As a Dress Barn vendor, it is imperative that you can meet our minimum EDI requirements:

Vendor Qualifications

Dress Barn is one of the nation’s largest women’s clothing chains, known for quickly adapting to shifting market trends and remaining open despite similar retail outlets shutting down in their marketplace. Even after decades in operation, Dress Barn remains managed by its founding family – another sign that shows its adaptability against changing consumer tastes and business practices.

Roslyn and Elliot Jaffe established the original Dress Barn store in Stamford, Connecticut in 1962 – an audacious venture when most department stores avoided selling clothing for working women at that time. Dress Barn became the first retail outfit offering an entire line of professional women’s attire in one store; soon thereafter it expanded by opening new locations and acquiring other retail chains such as Pants Corral and Off the Rax; eventually by the 1980s it had grown large enough to offer top designer labels at prices 20-50 percent below its competitors’.

Dress Barn was one of the leading women’s apparel retailers by 2000, boasting 775 retail locations nationwide. Over time, Dress Barn made a strategic shift toward offering its own private-label women’s apparel line that eventually comprised 64% of sales – the majority of stores were combination Dress Barn/Dress Barn Woman stores that specialized in plus-sized clothing sales.

Dress Barn continued its expansion by opening new stores and expanding through acquisition, including Fashion Bug in 2005 and Justice in 2009. Dress Barn also acquired plus-size brands Lane Bryant and Catherines and discount retailer Ann Inc – including its Loft outlet – before closing down some stores to focus on just their core business of plus size clothing retailing.

Ascena Retail Group, the parent company of Dress Barn stores, announced today that it will commence a process to close its stores. During this period, vendors and suppliers will still receive full payment for goods and services provided during this time. Furthermore, Ascena Retail Group will notify its associates when specific store closing decisions have been made, offering transition support as necessary.

Vendor Agreement

Dress Barn is one of the nation’s premier women’s clothing retailers, providing reasonably priced private label women’s fashion apparel in nearly 750 stores and on its website. In addition, Dress Barn Woman provides plus-sized women with clothing from their collection of stores. Established in 1962 and headquartered in Stamford Connecticut.

Dress Barn has experienced significant milestones throughout its history, such as an acquisition that garnered headlines. In 1990, Dress Barn purchased JRL Consulting Corporation to expand into new markets. By early 21st century Dress Barn changed direction significantly by adopting its own private label brand of women’s clothing at lower price points and away from careerwear sales that previously dominated.

Dress Barn requires that all its vendors agree, in order to protect its proprietary rights, not to use trademarks, logos, trade names, copyrights, patents and any other intellectual property rights regarding Products (other than product names) for advertising purposes without prior written approval of Purchaser. Vendors must additionally remove all of their proprietary marks before disposing of them; any products bearing Purchaser trademarks or logos returned should immediately cease being sold and be destroyed by Vendor.

Vendors must abide by all federal, state, and local laws regarding the storage and use of customer data, including implementing reasonable technical, administrative, and physical security measures to prevent unintended disclosure. They may not use robots, spiders, rovers or scrapers to monitor, cache, frame, mask, extract data from or copy Materials without written permission from our client or use of materials other than those explicitly allowed under these Terms.

The company’s vendor agreements can be found online and provide detailed instructions on how to become an approved vendor, including contractual and insurance requirements, item/catalog management/responsibility standards, assounting requirements and shipping compliance compliance standards. Once approved vendors are given marketing vendor numbers as well as instructions on how to dzafetu the system.

Step-by-step training on how to sell to major retailers

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In this training, I will discuss some of the things to think about when approaching a retailer to sell your products and become a vendor. Hope it helps! 🙂

Karen Waksman,
Retail MBA

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And…if you like this training, you will love these new short training sessions as well! Click on the links provided to watch and grow your consumer product business TODAY!

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How to Sell to Dress Barn Stores

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