Aug 5, 2020
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Battered Express is upbeat as online sales climbed last month

Aug 5, 2020

US-based fashion retailer Express Inc said on Tuesday that it has seen a “second consecutive month of positive e-commerce demand coupled with the apparent stabilisation in store sales and traffic”.

This leads it to believe that its “new product vision and brand positioning are resonating with customers,” and its CEO Tim Baxter said he expects the “comparable sales trend to improve as we resume flowing new receipts over the next several weeks”.

Although sales are still down significantly, July was a ‘good’ month for the firm given the current challenging circumstances. And it said that while the industry remains pressured by pandemic headwinds and their impact on consumer confidence, it's “encouraged by these results, and now estimates second quarter comparable sales to be down 24% and net sales to be down 48% on a year-over-year basis”.

On reopening its stores following closures due to the pandemic, the company saw “consistent acceleration in sales and traffic through the third week of June, but then a deceleration as new hotspots emerged in several states. This was further impacted by prolonged closures in New York and the re-closing of a number of stores in California”.
However, as mentioned, store sales and traffic appear to have stabilised last month with total comparable sales, including e-tail, down around 20% for the month. This result was boosted by online sales growth where demand switched from -35% in early May to +25% for the back half of July. 

These numbers were also enhanced by new products in the assortment, the completion of its e-commerce re-platform, and the implementation of both ship from store and buy-online-pick-up-in-store capabilities in over half of its retail locations.

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