Plus-size women’s brand Ashley Stewart on Friday opened its first retail location since exiting bankruptcy. The 4,500-square-foot store in Newark, NJ also marks as the brand’s first-ever concept store.
The new retail location named the ‘Ashley Stewart Lab’ houses the brand’s full apparel, jewelry and handbag collections, as well as dedicated vignettes, such as a Casual Shop, Career Shop and Intimates Shop. The Secaucus, NJ-based company also introduced a social lounge dedicated to Ashley Stewart’s favorite non-apparel brands.
"We are particularly excited for Ashley Stewart's return to Newark," remarked Nicole Goodman, Manager of Ashley Stewart Newark. "In many ways Ashley is reconnecting with a good friend from the past, and we are thrilled to give her something to talk about with this new store concept."
Ashley Stewart opens its first store since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2010. The company operated about 210 locations when it filed for bankruptcy and shuttered close to 100 locations before exiting bankruptcy in 2013. Today, the plus-size brand operates 90 stores in 22 states.
James Rhee, Chairman and CEO of Ashley Stewart and founder of FirePine led the company to profit following the bankruptcy and built its e-commerce business to 40% of revenue in 2016. The Invus Group in 2016 purchased a controlling interest in Ashley Stewart from Clearlake Capital Group and the FirePine Group. Rhee remained with the company following the acquisition.
The Ashley Stewart Lab is located in the Springfield Avenue Marketplace at 204 Springfield Avenue, Newark, New Jersey. The new store will have a ribbon cutting with the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation and Mayor Ras Baraka on Thursday, April 13th, 2017.
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