Ascena Retail Group has promoted Erin Stern to president of its value fashion Dressbarn brand.

"Erin brings extraordinary strategic, branding and merchandising capabilities that will complement our current leadership team," says Gary Muto, president and CEO of Ascena Brands. "She is an extremely talented leader with a passion for product, brand and our customer."

Stern spent the majority of her career at Gap Inc where she held senior leadership roles across multiple product categories. She was also the chief merchant for Juicy Couture and president of Bebe Sport.

Prior to being named as president of Dressbarn, she was EVP-chief merchandising officer for the group's Maurices stores.

The US women's wear retailer, whose brands also include Ann Taylor, Loft and Justice, operates around 4,700 stores.

The company is more than a year into its 'Change for Growth' programme that has seen its business restructured to focus on key customer segments, improve its time-to-market and reduce working capital, with the changes including a new brand services team to oversee supply chain, sourcing and logistics.

"Mixed" holiday results saw sales in its value fashion segment (Maurices and Dressbarn) fall 9%, within which was the biggest decline of 13% at Dressbarn.

Gary Muto was named last August to the newly created position of president and CEO of Ascena Brands, responsible for reinvigorating and driving top-line growth across Ascena's full brand portfolio.