The two companies combined to generate an Internet Retailer-estimated $855 million in web sales in 2014.

Two of the largest women’s apparel and accessories retail chains in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide are joining forces in a cash and stock deal valued at more than $2 billion.

Ascena Retail Group Inc., No. 87 in this year’s Top 500, announced plans to buy Ann Inc. (No. 94) in a cash-heavy deal that creates a company that together produced an Internet Retailer-estimated $855 million in web sales in 2014. The deal, expected to close later this year, brings together under a single corporate umbrella such high-profile apparel websites as Ascena’s and and Ann’s and Under terms of the deal, Ann Inc. stockholders will receive $37.34 in cash per share plus 0.68 per share in Ascena stock.

“This powerful transaction joins two strong and highly complementary organizations and management teams and dramatically reinforces our leadership position in women’s specialty apparel retailing,” Ascena CEO David Jaffe said in announcing the acquisition. data shows that Ascena is acquiring a fast-growing online retailer in Ann with a strong social media following. Ann Inc. has grown its online sales 114% over the past five years to $405 million in 2014 from an Internet Retailer-estimated $189.5 million in 2010.

The move is likely to strengthen Ascena’s position with upper middle-class women, which make up Ann Inc.’s primary audience. data shows that women account for 65% of all shoppers on Ann Inc.’s sites and 54% of all shoppers have an annual household income of over $60,000. Currently, 45% of Ascena’s shoppers have an annual household income of over $60,000, according to Internet Retailer data.


Ascena’s online sales are off to a strong start this year. The retailer reported that its web sales grew 19% year over year for the second quarter ending Jan. 24. The company does not disclose its online sales in dollars