Express, a staple in U.S. malls, will close about 100 stores — including those in Burnsville and Eden Prairie — as part of a restructuring plan as the chain grapples with drastic changes in where people spend their shopping dollars.
The retailer that caters to younger shoppers said earlier this month that it was laying of 10% of the staff at its Columbus, Ohio, headquarters and its New York City design studio.
Express Inc. said Wednesday that it can cut its costs by $80 million annually, partly through the store closures, nine of which took place in 2019. It plans to close another 31 stores this year, and 35 more by the end of next year.
Employees at the locations in Burnsville Center and Eden Prairie Center confirmed that both stores will close Sunday. They started aggressive clearance sales at the beginning of the month with most items now 70% off or more.
Express also has Twin Cities locations in Southdale, Ridgedale, Mall of America, Rosedale, Maplewood, Northtown Center, Woodbury and outlet stores in Eagan and Albertville.
It was not immediately clear how the closings would affect the employees at various stores. Staff in Columbus and New York were provided severance pay and ongoing benefits.
Express operates about 600 stores. Its sales and profit growth have slid over the past three years.
Clothing retailers, particularly those in malls, have been devastated by consumers shopping online. Retail analysts have been saying since the recession that the United States is top heavy with retail stores, especially in apparel. More than 9,000 stores were shuttered last year.
Shares jumped nearly 21% to $5.01 Wednesday.
Staff writer John Ewoldt and Associated Press contributed to this report.