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Express is closing 31 stores in 20 states by the end of the month

The mall mainstay will close a total of 100 stores by 2022.
Express closings, mall brands closing
The retailer plans to close 100 mall locations by 2022.Andrew Harnik / AP
/ Source: TODAY

Express announced plans to close 31 stores in 20 states by the end of the month as the fashion retailer seeks to revive its brand and stay afloat.

The retailer announced its additional plan to downsize in a statement on Wednesday, following the closure of nine stores last year. In addition to the 31 stores that will close this month, Express plans to close 100 locations in malls around the United States by 2022.

The stores closing this month are in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

The store closings are part of a strategy to reduce costs and to help revive the brand, which sells trendy clothes geared toward a millennial audience looking for everything from workwear to outfits for a casual date night.

"This will, of course, take some time, but we have a clear path," CEO Tim Baxter said in a statement.

Sales for the fourth quarter, which will be reported to investors on March 9, are expected to be down 3%, according to guidance released by the company.

Express is the latest in a line of mall mainstays that have had to close stores to reduce costs, while also keeping a focus on growing their sales. Earlier this month, Macy's announced it will close 28 stores in 18 states. Last month, Pier 1 Imports announced liquidation sales as it prepared to close 70 stores.

Dozens of large retailers have filed for bankruptcy protection in the last three years, including Sears, Gymboree, Claire's, Nine West and Payless Shoe Source. Forever 21, another mainstay of shopping malls, filed in September 2019 and announced a plan to close hundreds of stores