May 30, 2024

U.S. fashion retailer Express has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to close over 100 stores as it looks to devise a new merchandising strategy, the company said in a statement on Monday.

The retailer, with a portfolio includes Express, Bonobos and UpWest, has liabilities that range between $1 billion to $10 billion, according to a filing made in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Ohio-based Express said it received a commitment for $35 million in new financing from some existing lenders, noting that it is still subject to court approval.

Moreover, Express said it plans to use the bankruptcy process to facilitate a sale of most of its locations and operations. Talks of the deal came after it had received a non-binding letter of intent from brand manager WHP Global and mall landlords Simon Property Group and Brookfield Properties.

Stewart Glendinning, Express’s chief executive officer, said that the proposed transaction with WHP Global will provide the retailer with “additional financial resources,” that will help “better position the business for profitable growth.”

The company plans to close about 95 Express retail stores and all 12 of its UpWest stores, starting Tuesday, Apr. 23.

Express, which operates 530 Express retail and Express Factory Outlet stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, did not indicate in its statement which of its Express locations would be closed. It did, however, say that it “expects to conduct business as usual” and “without interruption,” adding that all off its brand stores “are open per their usual hours.” Express declined to comment when reached by Quartz.

News of the bankruptcy is not much of a surprise given that the 40-year-old retailer that has struggled to reach consumers recently. In early April, reports revealed that Express had been exploring bankruptcy protection. In early March, it was de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange.

Separately, Express has named Mark Still as its chief financial officer effective immediately, the company said in its statement. Still served as the interim CFO since November 2023.

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