Ohio-based retailer Express, Inc. has announced an additional measure as part of its continued strategic approach to improving profitability and managing and optimizing its store footprint.
As part of this plan, Express intends to close all 17 Canadian stores and discontinue its Canadian operations through its Canadian subsidiary, Express Fashion Apparel Canada Inc. This morning, as a part of that process, Express Canada filed an application for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto.
“The challenging Canadian retail environment, coupled with unfavorable exchange rates prevented us from meeting the expectations we had when we entered the market in 2011,” said David Kornberg, president and CEO of Express. “While difficult, this action is best for the future of Express and we are committed to carry it out in a way that reflects our respect and appreciation for employees who are impacted. Our overriding focus remains to invest in and direct our resources towards those areas that can generate the greatest return, including growing our e-commerce business, relaunching our customer loyalty program, and continuing to build our omni-channel capabilities to allow our customers to engage with our brand and shop wherever, whenever, and however they want. The decision to exit Canada is consistent with our long-term strategy and will have no impact on our operations in the U.S., which remain in a solid financial position.”
For the fiscal year ended January 28, 2017, Express Canada had net sales of approximately $34 million in U.S. dollars ($45 million in Canadian dollars) and contributed a net loss of approximately $6 million in U.S. dollars to the Express, Inc. consolidated financial statements.
Express Canada currently has 17 stores across Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. To facilitate an orderly wind-down, Express Canada intends to conduct store closing sales beginning mid-May. Subsequent to the closings, Canadian customers will continue to be able to make purchases through the company’s e-commerce website, as well as through the Express mobile app.