Dress Barn Headquarters Moving To Mahwah
The company got the OK this week to expand the old Footstar building to accomodate its current employees, and new ones it plans to hire after the move here
The headquarters of the holding company that owns Dress Barn is officially moving from Suffern, N.Y. to Mahwah – and it may bring with it a significant number of new jobs.
The township’s planning board Monday night OK’ed a plan for the company, theAscena Retail Group, to expand the former Footstar building at 933 Macarthur Blvd. Ascena purchased the building, which company reps said had been vacant for about seven years, from Footstar in April. The board also approved several variance and building waiver requests for the design of the construction.
The company – which owns Dress Barn and recently acquired Maurices, a clothing store aimed at 20-somethings, and Justice, a brand for tweens – plans to build a 60,000 sq. foot addition to the existing 133,000 sq. foot facility. The company also plans to upgrade some aspects of the existing building, and adding energy-efficient technologies to it, like a thermal-efficient facade and LED lighting.
According to Dress Barn representative Jeff Ross, the company plans to begin construction as soon as possible, and hopes to move into the new building by the fall of 2013.
Ross said Ascena decided to move out of its current location – a warehouse building not well suited for offices – after acquiring its new brands. The company will be moving its Suffern staff, 390 employees, to Mahwah as soon as possible. After a full build out of the site, which is anticipated to take about two years, Ross said the company anticipates going up to 600 jobs. Some of those, he said, will be transfers from other divisions of the company, and a “good number,” will be new hires. “We do hire locally,” Ross said, citing that about 40 percent of the company’s current Suffern workplace is from local areas of N.J.
No production, distribution, or retail interaction will take place at the Mahwah site. However, representatives did say Dress Barn would be creating a mock store inside the corporate headquarters that could be used as a demonstration or example of layout to stores across the globe. The company currently operates over 2500 retail stores worldwide.
Planner Paul Ricci, who testified on behalf of Dress Barn, said the company’s move is a “tremendous opportunity for Mahwah,” to fill and expand a vacant building. “The township is doing something right,” he said. The planning board echoed his sentiments, and welcomed the company to the township.