Mall-based specialty retailer Express opened its first outlet store at a Tanger outlet mall near Washington, D.C., and has plans for 30 more locations this year.
The operator of 630 predominantly mall-based stores had previously shunned outlet locations, but now views the popular venues as a growth opportunity.
"We are particularly excited about our outlet initiative which represents a new format for Express," said Michael Weiss, the retailer’s chairman and CEO. "I'm very optimistic about this new part of our business and the associated growth potential."
The factory outlet concept supports the retailer's growth strategy of becoming more accessible to the twenty-something, fashion-conscious, yet price-sensitive customer, according to the company. Recognizing the opportunity to capitalize on the ever-growing outlet business and capture a new customer base, Express plans to open outlet stores this year in markets such as Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas and New York.
"Factory outlets are an important growth initiative for Express, offering us a unique opportunity to acquire new customers by offering great fashion and quality at an amazing value," said Andrew Buck, vp and general manager of outlets for Express. "We are thrilled to present the Express Factory Outlet as an accessible shopping experience for young fashion-forward women and men."