Last spring, New Jersey-based women’s clothing retailer Ascena Group, whose brands include Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant, sold its majority stake in Duluth-based Maurices to London-based private equity firm OpCapita. (Ascena retains 49 percent of that company.) Debt-heavy Ascena has been struggling, closing hundreds of stores. Maurices itself, which boasted more than 1,000 stores in 2017, was down to 937 as of May. The sale to OpCapita could provide a fresh restart for Maurices and a chance for Goldfarb, the company’s congenial longtime top executive, to try new ways to boost sluggish sales.