Iconic 80s Mall Brand Considers Bankruptcy, Report Says

Popular clothing retailer Express is reportedly considering bankruptcy as it grapples with changing consumer trends and mounting debt.
Updated May 2, 2024
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Bankruptcy highlighted on paper

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Remember those days of scoring the perfect outfit at Express, from polished workwear to trendy club looks? While many of us have fond memories of this once-popular retailer, Express is facing some tough times. The company is reportedly in talks with lenders to secure funding for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, according to a Bloomberg report.

The fashion retailer has been struggling to keep up with changing consumer preferences and fierce competition, especially as consumers look to avoid wasting money post-pandemic. This shift in spending habits has left Express in a vulnerable position.

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Low-cost fast fashion hits sales

Rido/Adobe woman doing online shopping

Express has faced several challenges in recent years, including shifting consumer tastes and faster fashion cycles.

The rise of low-cost, online ultra-fast fashion retailers like Shein and Temu has further squeezed Express' market share, the report said.

Express's financial woes are undeniable

Skórzewiak/Adobe Crisis and stock markets down chart

A once-valuable brand, Express has seen its market value evaporate. The company’s stock price has taken an 80% hit this year, Bloomberg reported.

Express lost over $24 million in market capitalization this year and now is worth $2.25 million as of April 5. This is down from a market cap of around $27 million as measured on January 31. The company's market cap has decreased by over 96% in one year.

According to the report, this dramatic decline reflects investor concerns about the company's ability to turn things around. Meanwhile, their debt burden of nearly $300 million adds a layer of pressure to their already difficult situation, the report said.

Possible outcomes

agcreativelab/Adobe clothes on racks in a fashion boutique

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing could provide the Columbus, Ohio-based retailer an opportunity to streamline operations and potentially find a buyer. However, it also carries risks, including potential store closures and job losses.

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Bottom line

Hero Design/Adobe red shopping bag with bookeh background

With a potential bankruptcy filing looming, the future of Express remains uncertain. The company needs to find a way to adapt to the changing retail landscape and regain consumer interest.

While Express's decline can likely be attributed to various factors, including consumers tightening their belts and seeking ways to save money shopping, it also underscores the critical need for adaptability and innovation in an ever-changing industry.

Editor's Note: Generative AI tools helped write this story.

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Author Details

Maneesha Tiwari With more than seven years of experience managing content and editorial teams, Maneesha is passionate about news and how to help her audience navigate the ever-changing landscape of personal finance. She previously served as a journalist for Reuters, where she covered the stock market.

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