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Dive Brief:

  • Express will open six Express Edit stores in the next 90 days, according to CEO Tim Baxter. 
  • The stores will be located in SoHo and the Flatiron District in New York City, on Newbury Street in Boston, in Brickell and South Beach in Miami, and near Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, Baxter told analysts on a call on Wednesday. 
  • “Express Edit stores have proven to be a powerful way to reach new customers and advance our brand,” Baxter said.

Dive Insight:

By the start of 2023, Express projects it will have 11 total Edit stores. 

Those locations will account for only a small portion of its entire fleet. But, Express Edit stores are proving to be successful for the specialty apparel company. 

Express Edit is a store concept with a paired-down product assortment and reduced square footage in off-mall locations. 

″[T]esting these smaller formats in the city center will allow us to read the impact on existing stores, e-commerce sales to these zip codes, and new and existing customer activity overall,” Baxter explained last June regarding the stores. 

Number of projected stores by Jan. 28, 2023
Brand Number of Stores
Express 333
Outlet Stores 200
Express Edit 11
UpWest 13

SOURCE:  Express Earnings Call Presentation 2022 Q2

This week he went on to say that the locations have been a way for the retailer to acquire new shoppers and reactivate lapsed customers.

The six new locations will be in high visibility locations and “reflect the best of what we are learning in our pilot stores,” Baxter said.

Additionally, Baxter said the company had “an important pilot program” running in about 25 stores where the company is “testing and learning our way into a reimagined customer experience.” Baxter didn’t provide many details about the program, but did say that the stores that had it were outperforming the rest of the fleet with higher sales, increased customer engagement and an increased number of loyalty program sign-ups. The company will expand the pilot to a total of 70 stores this month.

The majority of the retailer’s traffic still comes through its store locations.

In its second-quarter earnings, which were announced Thursday, Express increased comparable sales by 1% year over year, while net sales increased 2% to $464.9 million. Net income was down nearly 34% to $7 million.

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