Clothing retailer Express leaving Circle Centre after 25-year run

One of Circle Centre’s original tenants is clearing out merchandise and preparing to leave the downtown shopping center.

Express, a national fashion retailer that was on the downtown shopping center’s original tenant roster when it opened in 1995, is closing the third-floor store, employees confirmed Tuesday.

A store-closing sale touting discounts of 50% to 70% off is in progress.

The closure will leave four other Express stores in the Indianapolis area: at Castleton Square, Greenwood Park Mall, Clay Terrace in Carmel and Hamilton Town Center in Noblesville.

Express Inc. announced in January that it planned to close about 100 of its 600 stores nationally as part of a restructuring plan.

The retailer that caters to younger shoppers also said that it would lay off 10% of the staff at its Columbus, Ohio, headquarters and its New York City design studio. And that was before the pandemic.

Since then, the store has announced another 10% reduction in corporate staff and “additional liquidity measures” to save $550 million in savings, including $440 million in 2020.

The chain said it closed nine stores in 2019 and planned to close another 31 stores this year and 35 more by the end of next year.

Limited Brands opened the first Express store in 1980 as women’s clothier “Limited Express” in Chicago’s Water Tower Place. It eventually added men’s fashion to its merchandise.

Express went public in 2010. Limited Brands sold its remaining ownership interest in the chain in 2011.

Express sales and profit growth have slid over the past three years. The company announced last week that it suffered a $90 million loss in the fiscal third quarter after losing just $3.1 million in the same quarter of 2019.

Overall third-quarter sales dropped from $488.5 million a year ago to $322 million this year. Comparable store sales dropped 30%.

Express officials attributed the loss to “continued steep declines in wear-to-work and occasion-based categories” of fashions.

Shares in Express closed at $1.13 each Tuesday, down from $4.87 at the beginning of the year.

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13 thoughts on “Clothing retailer Express leaving Circle Centre after 25-year run

  1. It’s long past time to rethink Circle Centre. It’s an absolute disaster at this point and has been for the better part of a decade. Hogsett has failed Indianapolis with his pro-criminal stand and refusal to resolve the homeless situation

    1. You say that this issue has been going on for the better part of a decade. Mayor Hogsett has only been the Mayor since 2016, can’t all be his fault…oh and there’s this thing called Covid going around too.

    2. I didn’t say Hogsett was responsible for all of it. But the decline in desirability of the city center accelerated under his watch and had been catastrophic. I can’t even walk from my office building to City Way or a football game without being assaulted by at least four homeless people. Prior to the pandemic I got hit in the face when two homeless criminals decided to fist fight under the circle in the middle of the workday. Covid is a convenient excuse, but that doesn’t explain the last ten years and the last 3-5 in particular.

    3. Hogsett has made the police a public enemy but supporting criminals killed in the act of committing violent crimes. He’s set a tone of tolerance for criminal activity and for allowing the homeless to take over the downtown. It’s embarrassing and shameful.

    4. Why doesn’t the Star or IBJ have any stories on people not being able to walk four blocks Downtown without being assaulted? Do you just see a homeless person and assume they will assault you, or do you do something to cause you to regularly get assaulted by them? Your hyperbole is actually getting hilarious now. Thanks for the laugh.

    5. It’s so common place that it’s not news. There’s nothing hyperbolic about it. There are very well known homeless people downtown who assault passers by at every chance. The woman who knows on the circle. The gentlemen under the rail bridge. Everyone knows them.

    6. IMPD already takes up something like a third of the city budget, and under Hogsett they’re getting even more money this year. Not exactly what I’d call a “pro-criminal stand”.

    7. That reminds me: is the woman who used to be knitting or crocheting what looked like pot holders (usually near Hilbert and Rocket Fizz) still around? I used to see her every day when I walked around the circle to work, but WFH has changed that up so I haven’t seen her for a long time.

    8. So Nick, you’re saying the homeless regularly assault people and it’s never reported? I lived Downtown for give years and was never assaulted. Am I the odd man out? Are you someone who provokes them and gets attacked? You sound crazy right now. Learn empathy.

  2. I find your comment basically equating homeless people to criminals particularly uninformed and unfair. Although I have also noticed an increased homeless presence in the past several months, I know that a huge contributing factor is the reduced capacity of local shelters and homeless services due to the pandemic. The city definitely needs to do something to address the amount of trash littering the sidewalks and building entryways in parts of downtown but being homeless isn’t a crime.

    1. Being homeless isn’t a crime. Assaulting people in the streets is. And that aside, who wants a bunch of homeless people in the middle of downtown dedicating and urinating in the streets. It’s horrible fir the city.

    2. Being homeless is indeed not a crime, but squatting on the public ROW isn’t legal either. Much like jaywalking or bicycling on sidewalks, it is a nuisance infraction that occurs infrequently enough that law enforcement largely has tolerated it because it has bigger fish to fry. That said, if these infractions accumulate to the point of compromising public health, safety, and the general welfare, it is entirely the right of LEOs to step up enforcement. That appears to be the case in many cities where COVID has forced the closure of shelters. And the activities attendant to homeless squatting–littering, panhandling, public urination–are all criminal acts (albeit not felonious).
      Given that the downtown Indy appears to have squandered 25 years of revitalization in just six months, it seems reasonable that city leadership should take a firm stand, because it’s inconclusive that businesses (and patrons of these businesses) are going to feel comfortable returning when COVID subsides, if downtown even partly resembles the conditions as some people here depict it.

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