As it took “decisive actions” to maintain liquidity, Express Inc. reported “continued momentum” with its The EXPRESSway Forward long-term strategy, as a phased reopening of retail locations started on May 1. The retailer, however, reported that consolidated net sales dropped 53 percent to $210.3 million in Q1 2020 from $451.3 million in Q1 2019, according to an announcement.
Chief Executive Officer Tim Baxter said in the announcement, “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our industry, economy, communities, associates and customers over the last few months is unlike anything we have experienced before, and the protests and demonstrations across the country over the last week create even more uncertainty. As a Company, our efforts have been focused on protecting the safety of our associates and customers, and ensuring sufficient liquidity to continue the important work of our transformation.”
Express said that as of Wednesday (June 3), it had opened 303 retail locations while adhering to the latest state and federal guidelines. The company debuted a bolstered buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) customer experience in some locations, with plans to expand that capability to the complete store base by the close of Q3. The retailer is also providing curbside pickup at Easton in Columbus, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois pilot locations, with plans to offer it in more locations in the future.
Additionally, Express said it decreased its forecasted yearly capital expenditures by roughly $25 million. The retailer also found cost savings of roughly $75 million “to be realized in 2020, including the impact from our previously announced COVID-19 mitigation actions, and a decrease in our variable costs as a result of the decline in sales.” It also accessed $165 million from its asset-based credit facility of $250 million.
The earnings report comes as large retailers are putting safety measures into place to keep staffers and customers safe and to encourage in-store shopping as they begin to reopen.