Express closing 100 retail stores helps cut $80M in costs and push stock up 21%


Clothing retailer Express said Wednesday that it plans to shutter roughly 100 of its stores by 2022, as part of its strategy to save $80 million in costs annually over the next three years.

Express shares were last up more than 18% on the news. Express has a market value of roughly $313 million. As of Tuesday’s market close, it had watched its stock fall roughly 21% over the past 12 months.

The store closures add to the malaise that U.S. shopping malls have been hit with in recent years. A record of more than 9,000 store closures was announced by retailers — ranging from Gap to Forever 21 to Sears — in 2019. The apparel category within retail has been under pressure especially with more shoppers either pulling back their spending on clothing, or turning to subscription and rental services like Stitch Fix and Rent the Runway.

Express currently operates more than 600 stores, including factory outlet locations, in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

The closures will reduce sales by $90 million by 2022, the company said. But it said the lower costs will help boost its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by $15 million.

Express also has narrowed the range for its fourth-quarter earnings outlook, pegging it toward the lower end.



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