Clothing retailer Express, seeking revival, to close 100 stores

Express, a national retailer with four Indianapolis-area mall stores, plans to close about 100 stores as part of a restructuring plan as the chain grapples with drastic changes in where people spend their shopping dollars.

The retailer that caters to younger shoppers said earlier this month that it was laying of 10% of the staff at its Columbus, Ohio, headquarters and its New York City design studio.

The company did not identify which stores it plans to close.

Express Inc. said Wednesday that it can cut its costs by $80 million annually, partially through the store closures, nine of which took place in 2019. It plans to close another 31 stores this year, and 35 more by the end of next year.

The retailer has local stores at Circle Center, Greenwood Park Mall, Castleton Square and Clay Terrace. It also has a store in College Mall in Bloomington and at Indiana Premium Outlets in Edinburgh.

It was not immediately clear how that would affect the employees at those stores. Staff in Columbus and New York were provided severance pay and ongoing benefits.

Express operates about 600 stores. Its sales and profit growth have slid over the past three years.

Clothing retailers, particularly those in malls, have been devastated by changing consumer behavior. More than 9,000 stores were shuttered last year.

Shares jumped 20%, to almost $5 each in afternoon trading.

Limited Brands opened the first Express store in 1980 as women’s clothier “Limited Express” in Chicago’s Water Tower Place. The company went public in 2010.

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