Express inc.

Fashion Retailer Express Files for Bankruptcy, Closing Over 100 Stores

Fashion retailer Express Inc. has filed for bankruptcy, citing ongoing challenges with its merchandise mix and struggling to attract customers.

The company, known for its trendy clothing, submitted the filing to the bankruptcy court in Delaware, revealing plans to close more than 100 stores as part of the restructuring process.

Express operates various brands, including Express, Express factory outlets, Bonobos, and UpWest stores. It announced the closure of 95 Express locations and all UpWest stores, with closing sales set to commence on April 23.

Despite the store closures, the company assured customers that its online channels would continue to operate, accepting orders and processing returns. Additionally, benefits related to the Express Insider program would remain unaffected.

Analysts attribute Express’s financial struggles to a combination of factors, including changes in consumer behaviour due to remote work and a shift towards casual fashion. Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, noted that Express failed to adapt its product offerings adequately to these evolving trends.

Moreover, Express faced criticism for its overpriced and bland products compared to competitors, leading to a decline in relevance among shoppers.

Express CEO Stewart Glendinning acknowledged the challenges but expressed optimism about the company’s future. He highlighted ongoing efforts to refine product assortments, drive demand, and strengthen operations.

As part of its restructuring, Express secured $35 million in new financing from existing lenders and received a non-binding letter of intent from a consortium led by WHP Global for the potential sale of a substantial majority of its retail stores and operations.

Glendinning emphasized the partnership with WHP Global, stating that the proposed transaction would provide additional financial resources and position the business for profitable growth.

Despite the bankruptcy filing and store closures, Express remains focused on advancing its business initiatives and maximizing value for stakeholders amidst a challenging retail landscape.

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