Express enters Chapter 11; 100 stores to close as it evaluates rescue offer

(Source: Express / Facebook)

Embattled fashion retailer Express has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will close at least 100 stores. 

The company announced the move on Monday and the bankruptcy includes its namesake chain as well as Bonobos and UpWest Express. 

The company was rumoured to be mulling bankruptcy for some time and last month received a notice from the New York Stock Exchange that its shares would be delisted, with trading suspended on March 6.

Under bankruptcy protection, Express will close about 95 of its 530 Express and Express Factory Outlet-branded stores across the US and Puerto Rico and all of 12 of its UpWest stores.

The process will also allow the company to pursue a formal sale process. WHP Global, a brand management company that owns Anne Klein and Toys ‘R’ Us and already has a 7.4 per cent share in Express, has sent the company a non-binding letter of intent to purchase the majority of the business.

Apart from those stores that will be closed, the company says it continues to operate as usual, having secured $35 million in financing from some existing lenders. 

Interim CFO Mark Still will be permanently appointed to the role with immediate effect. 

Express was founded in 1980. During recent months the company has been struggling to survive on softened consumer demand and lower spending in discretionary retail. 

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