Express Files for Bankruptcy, Plans to Close 107 Stores; Names New CFO

by Katie Lee

Columbus, Ohio — Fashion retailer Express Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and plans to close 107 of its 602 stores. The Columbus, Ohio-based company’s portfolio includes apparel brands such as Bonobos, Express and UpWest Express. As part of the proceedings, 95 stores under the company’s Express banner will be shuttered alongside all 12 of its UpWest Express locations. The closing sales at affected stores are scheduled to begin on April 23, 2024.

Express concurrently announced that it has received a non-binding letter of intent from a consortium of investors led by WHP Global to acquire a substantial majority of the company’s retail stores and operations.

The investment group includes an indirect subsidiary of Simon Property Group and Brookfield Properties. WHP Global, which purchased a controlling stake in the parent company of Toys ‘R’ Us in 2021, has held 7.4% ownership in Express Inc. since January 2023.

The company has received a commitment for $35 million in new financing from unspecified existing lenders as part of bankruptcy proceedings. Express also received $49 million in cash on April 15 from the Internal Revenue Service through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (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. The company currently operates 530 Express and Express Factory Outlet stores, 60 Bonobos locations and 12 UpWest Retail stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

“We are taking an important step that will strengthen our financial position and enable Express to continue advancing our business initiatives,” says CEO Stewart Glendinning. “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.”

Express also has named Mark Still as senior vice president and chief financial officer, effective immediately. 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.

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

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.

For more information on the financial restructuring process, visit

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. For more information, visit,, or

SOURCE: Express, Inc.

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