Express Q1 loss widens; sales down 53%

Marianne Wilson
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Express Inc. reported a wider-than-expected fiscal first-quarter loss as revenue declined more than forecast amid COVID-19 store closures. 

The apparel retailer has reopened 303 stores, or about half of its total portfolio, and will reopen another 58 locations this week.

“The company is taking a phased approach to reopening stores, with the pace and staffing calibrated to mall traffic and consumer demand,” Express stated. “Plans will be accelerated or modified based on the learnings as well as any updated associate and customer safety measures.”

Express’ net loss for the quarter ended May 2 widened to $154.1 million, or $2.41 a share, from a loss of $9.9 million, or $0.15 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, the adjusted loss per share was $1.55, compared with analysts’ estimates of $0.47 a share. 

Sales fell 53% to $210.3 million, missing estimates of $289.7 million.

Express is testing curbside pickup at Easton in Columbus, Ohio, and Chicago, with a plan to expand it to more stores. It also has introduced an “enhanced” buy online pick-up in stores customer experience in select reopened stores, with plans to expand it to the entire chain by the end of the third quarter.