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Going ahead with its store expansion plans, Lane Bryant, a brand of Ascena Retail Group Inc. (ASNA - Snapshot Report), is set to open a new store at Seabrook Commons in Seabrook, NH today. Celebration to mark the inauguration of the store will begin from today and run till the weekend.

During the celebration period, Lane Bryant will give 25 gift cards worth $25 to customers on each day. Moreover, customers who make purchases of $50 or more will be awarded $25 Real Women Dollars redeemable on a later date.

The store expansion plans of Ascena seem to be gaining pace this year. This will be the second Lane Bryant store to open in August, while the first one was opened at The Outlets at Tejon in Arvin, CA. Earlier the company opened 4 new Lane Bryant stores at Bellis Fair in Bellingham, WA; South Hills Village in Pittsburgh, PA; Camelback Colonnade in Phoenix, AZ; and Evergreen Marketplace in Evergreen Park, IL, in July.

In June, the company opened a new Lane Bryant store at Kittery Outlet Center in Kittery and reopened one store located at Santee Trolley Square in Santee, CA. Earlier in fiscal 2014, the company has opened 9 stores in May, 4 in April and 3 in March-end. These stores along with the latest one to be opened today will bring the company’s new store count to 23, since March-end.

Lane Bryant is a renowned curvy women's specialty apparel retailer, offering designer and high-quality fashion. The brand’s assortments comprise an extensive range of formal and casual apparel, together with accessories, footwear, hosiery and its intimate apparel range – Cacique. Lane Bryant, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ascena, operates over 775 full-line and outlet stores in 48 states across the United States, targeting plus-size women aged 30 to 45 and serves women's sizes 14–28.

Ascena Retail Group is a specialty retailer that offers clothing for women as well as teen girls and boys. The company provides apparel, accessories, footwear, undergarments and lifestyle products such as bedroom furnishings and electronics.

The company’s operating segments include Justice, Lane Bryant, Maurices, Dressbarn and Catherines. Some of the popular brands sold by the company include Justice, Brothers, Lane Bryant, Cacique, Right Fit, Maurices, Studio Y, Dressbarn, Catherines, Maggie Barnes, Liz&Me and Serenada.

As of Apr 26, 2014, Ascena operated nearly 3,900 stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. In its last earnings release, the company outlined its plan to open about 40–60 stores during fiscal 2014.

Ascena currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks among apparel and shoe retailers include Citi Trends Inc. (CTRN - Analyst Report), The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. (MW - Snapshot Report) and Zumiez Inc. (ZUMZ - Analyst Report), all carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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