We visited an Express store and the empty ghost town clearly showed why the brand is closing 100 stores

A scene from an Express store. Bethany Biron/Business Insider Express announced this week that it will close 100 stores by the end of 2022, including 31 stores by the end of this month. We visited an Express store in Manhattan in New York City and found an empty ghost town with hardly any shoppers in sight. Visit…

We visited an Express store and the empty ghost town clearly showed why the brand is closing 100 stores

A scene from an Express store.

Bethany Biron/Business Insider

Express announced this week that it will close 100 stores by the end of 2022, including 31 stores by the end of this month. We visited an Express store in Manhattan in New York City and found an empty ghost town with hardly any shoppers in sight. Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.It’s been a rough week for Express. The retailer announced plans on Wednesday to close a total of 100 stores by the end of 2022, including 31 stores by the end of this month. The news follows layoffs at Express headquarters in Columbus, Ohio and its design studio in New York City earlier this week. The store closures are part of an effort to restructure the struggling mall brand, which has succumbed to declining foot traffic and dwindling sales in recent in recent years. In January 2019, CEO David Kornberg abruptly stepped down from the company, also pointing to trouble for the brand, which was owned by Limited Brands until 2011. Express CEO Tim Baxter, who took over the helm in June 2019, said in a statement on Wednesday that the downsizing is part of a larger cost reduction strategy aimed at helping to bolster the ailing brand. “My expectation is that we will return to a mid-single-digit operating margin through a combination of low-single-digit comp sales growth, margin expansion and cost reductions,” Baxter said in a statement. “This will of course take some time, but we have a clear path.”We visited an Express store in New York City and saw firsthand why the brand is struggling. Here’s what it was like. 

When we arrived shortly after 1 p.m. on a Thursday, there was hardly a shopper in sight.

Bethany Biron/Business Insider

It was a ghost town.

Bethany Biron/Business Insider

The women’s section was filled with tons of untouched products.

Bethany Biron/Business Insider

As we browsed, we still didn’t see a single shopper.

Bethany Biron/Business Insider

Where is everybody?

Bethany Biron/Business Insider

The men’s section was equally as barren.

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