Ascena Retail Group, operators of such brands as Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant and Dressbarn, is planning to close hundreds of stores. The news came on the heels of a brutal third quarter.

The company reported a net loss of $1.031 billion, or $5.29 per diluted share in the third quarter ended April 29, compared to net income of $15 million last year, or $0.08 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

Net sales fell to $1.565 billion, down from $1.669 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales fell 8%, amid a decline in store traffic across all brands.

Same-store sales fell 7% at Ann Taylor; 6% at Loft; 12% at Maurices; 8% at Dressbarn; 11% at Catherines; 6% at Justice; and 6% at Total Kids Fashion.

Ascena currently operates over 4,800 stores throughout the U.S. Canada, and Puerto Rico. On the chain’s earnings…