“Our expected results show the third consecutive quarter of sequential improvement in our comp sales trends,” says Tim Baxter, chief executive officer, Express. “I am encouraged that the new initiatives we have put in place are resonating with our customers. Today we are unveiling our new corporate strategy, called The EXPRESSway Forward, and we are focused on profitable growth. 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. This will of course take some time, but we have a clear path.”
The company expects to close approximately 100 stores by 2022. This includes nine stores that have already closed in 2019, 31 by the end of this month and an additional 35 by the end of January 2021. The company expects the net impact on sales to be a reductionof $90 million by 2022.
The company has identified $80 million in annualized cost reduction opportunities expected to be realized over the next three years. Of that figure, $25 million will be driven by process improvements, inventory optimization and systems implementations associated with its go-to-market transformation. The other $55 million of expense reductions will be driven mainly by the previously announced workforce restructuring. These savings are incremental to the $50 million dollars in savings that were announced in 2016 and delivered over the past three years.
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