Business

“Express Inc. Files for Bankruptcy: Plans to Close Stores and Reorganize Operations”

Express Long-standing American mall retailer Express Inc., known for importing ready-made garment (RMG) products worth approximately $100 million annually from Bangladeshi manufacturers, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company plans to shutter more than 100 stores as part of its restructuring efforts.

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Express

Express Inc., which encompasses brands such as , Bonobos, and UpWest Express, disclosed assets and liabilities ranging from $1 billion to $10 billion in its filing with the bankruptcy court in Delaware. Additionally, eleven affiliated firms of the brand have also filed Chapter 11 petitions.

Mark Still has been appointed as the new CFO of Inc., effective immediately. Still, who has been serving as interim CFO since November 2023, will continue to lead the financial operations of the company during its restructuring phase.

As part of the bankruptcy proceedings,  Inc. will close approximately 95  retail stores and all of its UpWest stores, starting Tuesday, although specific locations were not disclosed. The company currently operates around 530 Express retail and  Factory Outlet stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, along with approximately 12 UpWest retail stores.

Established in 1980,  has faced challenges due to soft consumer demand caused by slowing spending patterns and increased price sensitivity in discretionary categories. The bankruptcy filing, anticipated earlier this year, underscores the ongoing liquidity issues faced by the retailer, as indicated by consistent late payments.

Express Inc. imports RMG products from about 12-14 top Bangladeshi manufacturers annually, with a total import value of around $100 million. Some manufacturers have reported outstanding payments from the brand, although there is optimism that  will emerge stronger after restructuring.

The retailer has received a nonbinding letter of intent from a consortium led by brand management firm WHP Global, which includes mall landlords Simon Property Group and Brookfield Properties. The offer entails the sale of a majority of the chain’s retail stores and operations. However, other potential buyers, such as Sycamore, have shown interest, with WHP Global holding an advantage due to its existing investment stake in Express Inc.

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