Clothing retailer Express files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, will close 95 stores

Express^ Inc. is an American fashion retailer headquartered in Columbus^ Ohio. Springfield^ Missouri - October 31^ 2019

Clothing retailer Express, the parent of the Bonbons and UpWest brands, announced on Monday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will be closing 95 stores (including all of its UpWest stores) with closing sales spanning across more than 30 states and Washington, D.C. to begin on Tuesday. Express said its remaining stores will operate as usual during the mass closing.

The retailer – based in Columbus, Ohio, and founded in 1980, was a shopping mall staple; the company said it made the move to file for bankruptcy as a strategic move to sell most of its operations to investment group WHP Global, an indirect subsidiary of shopping outlet giant Simon Property Group. Express also announced that it received a non-binding letter of intent from a group led by consumer brand acquisition and management firm WHP Global to potentially purchase the majority of its stores and operations. Express said that it had filed for Chapter 11 protection “to facilitate the sale process” (per ABC NEWS).

According to Express’ website, the company operates about 530 Express retail and Express Factory Outlet stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, in addition to roughly 60 Bonobos Guideshop locations as well as online operations for these brands.  Express reported nearly $1.2 billion in total debts and $1.3 billion in total assets as of March 2 in its Chapter 11 petition, which was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Stewart Glendinning, CEO of Express, said in a statement: “We continue to make meaningful progress refining our product assortments, driving demand, connecting with customers and strengthening our operations. We are taking an important step to strengthen our financial position and enable Express to continue advancing our 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.”

Editorial credit: damann /