Retailer Express Inc. files for bankruptcy

The fashion retailer has a plan in place to sell the majority of its stores.

Fashion retailer Express Inc. has filed for bankruptcy due to ongoing struggles with its merchandise mix and lack of consumer interest.

The company plans to close over 100 stores as part of the bankruptcy process, including 95 Express locations and all UpWest stores.


The big picture: Closing sales at these stores will begin on April 23.

  • Despite the closures, all online channels for Express brands will continue to accept orders and fulfill them, as well as process returns and redeem gift cards and store credits in-store.
  • The rise in remote work and the casualization of fashion have contributed to the decline in the formal and smart casual market, affecting Express’s sales.
  • Poor sales have also been attributed to overpriced and bland products compared to competitors, making the Express brand less relevant to shoppers.

What we’re watching: Express has obtained $35 million in new financing from existing lenders and is considering a potential sale of a majority of its retail stores and operations to a consortium led by WHP Global.

What they’re saying: Express Inc. CEO Stewart Glendinning said in a statement that the company continues to make meaningful progress and will strengthen its financial position to keep advancing its business initiatives. 

  • “WHP has been a strong partner to the company since 2023, and the proposed transaction will provide us additional financial resources, better position the business for profitable growth and maximize value for our stakeholders,” Glendinning said in a statement.
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