The so-called "brick and mortar" retail businesses have been in trouble for some time and it looks like it's about to get worse.

Now even more retailers have announced closures. According to the CNN Money site, ASNA ( Ascena Retail Group) plans to close anywhere from 250 to 650 locations in the next two years. ASNA owns well-known brands right here in eastern Iowa, such as Ann Taylor, Loft, Dress Barn, Lane Bryant, Maurices, Catherine's, and Justice. The number of locations each brand will lose is unclear.

CNN Money reported that Chief Executive David Jaffe announced that 250 will definitely close, and that 400 more could shut their doors unless the company can negotiate cheaper rents for those locations. Jaffe also stated that due to a continuous decline in traffic, the decision to shut down locations is necessary.

There is no word yet on if any eastern Iowa locations will be affected. But considering how this year has played out for retailers --things don't look good. We're only halfway through the year and we've already seen the demise of stores like Gander Mountain, K-Mart, and Payless. In fact, there 34 other retailers that could be closing this year. Many of which are in our area!

Let's hope these businesses can somehow keep it together. Sure, online shopping is great, but we need our brick and mortar stores too!

[CNN Money]