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April 24, 2024

Two Express stores in Center City among locations in region slated to close as part of bankruptcy plan

The fashion brand is shuttering 95 stores in the U.S. ahead of a potential sale.

Business Retail
Express Philly Closing Staff Photo/PhillyVoice

Express Edit, shown above at 1521 Walnut St., is among a handful of Express, Inc. stores that will close in the Philly region after the company announced it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week.

Fashion retailer Express revealed Monday that it will close 95 of its stores nationwide as it enters bankruptcy and prepares for a possible sale. The list of pending store closures includes several locations in Philadelphia and South Jersey.

Express, once a staple at American malls, is part of a Columbus, Ohio-based company that also owns the clothing stores UpWest and Bonobos. The plan is to shutter 75 retail locations and 20 Express Factory Outlet stores, in addition to all of its UpWest locations.

In Philadelphia and South Jersey, closing sales will be held at the following stores ahead of closures expected to happen by the end of June:

• Express Edit in Center City - 1521 Walnut St.
• Express Factory Outlet - 901 Market St. at Fashion District Philadelphia
• Express at Deptford Mall - 1750 Deptford Center Road
• Express Factory Outlet in Moorestown - 400 West Route 38

U.S. Bankruptcy filings obtained by the Philadelphia Business Journal show that the Express store at the Oxford Valley Mall in Langhorne also is slated to close.

The company did not indicate plans to close any of its Bonobos menswear stores, including one next door to the Express location on the closing list. A corporate spokesperson and a store employee at the Bonobos in Center City said Wednesday they were not aware of plans to close that store.

In its announcement on Monday, Express said it had received a letter of intent from consumer-brand acquisition and management firm WHP Global to possibly purchase most of its stores and operations. The consortium looking to buy the brand includes a subsidiary of mall owners, Simon Property Group and Brookfield Properties. WHP — which also owns brands like Toys "R" Us, Joseph Abboud and Anne Klein — had acquired a minority stake in Express in 2022.

The Express store at the Philadelphia Mills mall is not included on the list of stores to close. Those at the Willow Grove, King of Prussia and Cherry Hill malls and at Blackwood's Gloucester Premium Outlets also are not listed as closing,

Express has about 530 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, according to the company's website, and would plan to sell the majority of its remaining stores.