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Express, Inc. Files Chapter 11, Receives New $35MM Financing Commitment to Support Ongoing Operations

April 22, 2024, 08:00 AM
Filed Under: Bankruptcy

Express, Inc. has received a non-binding letter of intent from a consortium led by WHP Global (“WHP”), and participants including a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Simon Property Group, L. P. (“Simon”) and Brookfield Properties (“Brookfield”) for the potential sale of a substantial majority of the Company’s retail stores and operations.

To facilitate the sale process, Express and its subsidiaries have filed voluntary Chapter 11 petitions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Express has received a commitment for $35 million in new financing from certain of its existing lenders, subject to court approval. Additionally, on April 15, 2024, the Company received $49 million in cash from the Internal Revenue Service related to the CARES Act.

Express is continuing to serve customers in stores and online across its EXPRESS, Bonobos and UpWest brands and expects to conduct business as usual as the Company works to right-size its lease portfolio and operations.

“We continue to make meaningful progress refining our product assortments, driving demand, connecting with customers and strengthening our operations,” said Stewart Glendinning, Chief Executive Officer. “We are taking an important step that will 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.”

Mr. Glendinning added, “Express has a strong portfolio of brands and a premier omnichannel platform. Our top priority remains providing our customers with the contemporary styles and value they expect from us. We thank our associates for their continued hard work and commitment, and we appreciate the ongoing support of our vendors, suppliers and business partners.”

Continuing to Serve Customers in Stores and Online

Express and its brands are serving customers without interruption:

  • EXPRESS retail stores, EXPRESS factory outlets, Bonobos Guideshops and UpWest stores are open per their usual hours.
  • All of the Company’s online channels, including, and, along with all brand apps, are accepting orders.
  • All of the Company’s brands are fulfilling orders and processing returns, merchandise return policies remain unchanged, and gift cards and store credits are currently being redeemed in-store.
  • Bonobos is continuing to serve its premium wholesale customers.
  • Customer benefits related to the EXPRESS Insider program are expected to remain the same.

As part of this process, the Company intends to close approximately 95 EXPRESS retail stores and all UpWest stores. The closing sales at affected stores are scheduled to begin on April 23, 2024.

Update to the Leadership Team

Express also announced that it has named Mark Still as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Still has served as the Company’s interim CFO since November 2023 and as Senior Vice President, Brand Finance and Planning & Allocation since January 2023. He has held finance roles of increasing responsibility at Express since 2005 and brings to the CFO role deep insights across all aspects of the Company’s finance organization and strategy.

Mr. Glendinning added, “I congratulate Mark on his appointment as our go-forward CFO, underscoring the significant contributions he has made to Express throughout his career. We look forward to continuing to benefit from his extensive leadership experience and financial expertise as we move ahead.”

Additional Information About the Court-Supervised Process

The Company has filed a number of customary motions seeking court authorization to support its operations, including the payment of employee wages and benefits without interruption and the continuation of customer loyalty programs. The Company expects to receive court approval for these requests shortly. The Company looks forward to working with its vendor and supplier partners to ensure a continued successful enterprise for the benefit of the Company’s customers and the communities it serves. The Company expects to have sufficient liquidity to support the business during the court-supervised sale process.

The Company will continue to assess its store footprint in connection with this process. A&G Realty Partners is assisting the Company with this effort.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel to Express, Moelis & Company LLC is serving as investment banker, and M3 Partners, LP is serving as financial advisor.

Express, Inc. is a multi-brand fashion retailer whose portfolio includes EXPRESS, Bonobos and UpWest. The Company operates an omnichannel platform as well as physical and online stores. Grounded in a belief that style, quality and value should all be found in one place, Express is a brand with a purpose – We Create Confidence. We Inspire Self-Expression. – powered by a styling community. Bonobos is a menswear brand known for exceptional fit and an innovative retail model. UpWest is an apparel, accessories and home goods brand with a purpose to Provide Comfort for People & Planet.

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