Maurices outfits the young women of small-town America. The chain sells dress, work, and casual apparel for 17- to 34-year-olds at more than 830 specialty retail and outlet stores in 44 US states, Canda, and online. It sells clothing under the maurices and Studio Y brands, as well as perfume, hats, gloves, and other accessories. The company focuses on small markets with populations of 25,000 to 100,000 people, which offer fewer shopping options than larger cities. Most of its stores are situated around major discount retailers and department stores. Founded in 1931 by Maurice Labovitz as a single shop in Duluth, Minnesota, the company is owned by apparel retailer Ascena Retail (formerly Dress Barn).
Maurices, whose fiscal 2012 (ends July) sales increased nearly 10% vs. the prior year, contributes about a quarter of its parent company Ascena Retail's total sales. Same-store sales at Maurices stores increased 2% in fiscal 2012 vs. 2011, a marked slowdown from the previous annual comparison where they increased by 10%. Maurices added nearly 50 new locations in fiscal 2012, including six stores in Canada, its first locations north of the border. – less