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Express To Enter South Africa

Stocks in this article: EXPR

COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Express, Inc. (NYSE: EXPR), a men's and women's specialty retail apparel chain operating over 600 stores, today announced that one of its subsidiaries has entered into a franchise agreement with Edcon Group, a retail franchise operator in South Africa, to bring the Express brand to South Africa.

The Express brand is expected to launch as a store-in-store concept at select Edgars department stores by the end of 2014 with standalone Express store locations to open in 2015.

Michael Weiss, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Express stated that, "We are thrilled that the Express brand is going to be in South Africa, representing an exciting next step in our international expansion strategy. It's a terrific market in terms of having a customer base our brand should resonate with.  We are grateful to be working with Edcon to make it happen."

Edcon Chief Executive Officer, Jurgen Schreiber says: "We are excited to be able to introduce Express and its on-trend fashions to the South African customer. Having such a fashion forward, established brand will enhance our ever-growing international brand offering in South Africa."

International Strategy Express has identified international expansion as one of the company's four pillars of growth and a significant long-term revenue opportunity for the company given the fashion content of the brand and the universal appeal to the 20-30 year old demographic. Express serves a diverse customer base in the company's U.S. stores in both tourist and border geographies. Currently there are 11 Express franchise stores in the Middle East and 15 franchise stores in Latin America.

About Express, Inc.Express is a specialty apparel and accessories retailer of women's and men's merchandise, targeting the 20 to 30 year old customer. The Company has over 30 years of experience offering a distinct combination of fashion and quality for multiple lifestyle occasions at an attractive value addressing fashion needs across work, casual, jeanswear, and going-out occasions. The Company currently operates more than 600 retail and factory outlet stores, located primarily in high-traffic shopping malls, lifestyle centers, and street locations across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.  Express merchandise is also available at franchise stores in the Middle East and Latin America. The Company also markets and sells its products through the Company's e-commerce website,  www.express.com.

About EdconEdcon is South Africa's largest non-food retailer, with a market share of the South African clothing and footwear (C&F) market nearly twice that of its nearest listed competitor, trading through a range of retail formats. The Group has grown from opening its first store in 1929, to trading in 1 402 stores (as at 28 December 2013) in South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Edcon has been recognised in national surveys as one of the top companies to work for in South Africa and continues to make significant progress in its equity and transformation goals.

Our retail businesses are structured under three divisions: Edgars division, including Edgars, Boardmans, Edgars Active, Edgars Shoe Gallery, Red Square and the Group's mono-branded stores such as Topshop Topman, Tom Tailor, Dune, Lucky, T.M. Lewin, Lipsy, Inglot, La Senza and Accessorize whose product is also available through Edgars stores, serves principally middle and upper income markets; Discount division including Jet, JetMart and Legit, serves principally middle to lower income markets; and CNA, the Group's stationery, books, games, movies, music, hi-tech electronics and mobile retailer. The Edcon Credit and financial services division provides credit and insurance products to the Group's customers.

With the launch of its "Thank U" loyalty programme, Edcon now has the largest retail customer database in South Africa which enables it to provide customers with relevant offers across its suite of retail and financial services products; this programme includes all mono-branded stores in South Africa.

For more information, please visit the Edcon website: www.edcon.co.za

About Edgars Edgars is the Department Store of Choice for Men's, Ladies, Kidswear, Footwear and Accessories for every occasion. Showcasing the widest range of the latest's fashion trends from top international brands to own private label brands; Edgars offers something for everyone. There are 181 Edgars stores in South Africa including neighbouring countries.

Forward-Looking Statements Certain statements in this press release are "forward-looking statements" made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements that do not directly relate to any historical or current fact and include, but are not limited to, plans for new shop-in-shop and standalone store openings, international expansion strategy, and future growth and growth opportunities. Forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and assumptions, which may not prove to be accurate. These statements are not guarantees and are subject to risks, uncertainties and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Many factors could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from these forward-looking statements. Among these factors are (1) changes in consumer spending and general economic conditions; (2) our ability to identify and respond to new and changing fashion trends, customer preferences and other related factors; (3) fluctuations in sales and results of operations on a seasonal basis and due to store events, promotions and a variety of other factors; (4) competition from other retailers; (5) customer traffic at malls and shopping centers; (6) our dependence on a strong brand image; (7) our ability to develop and maintain a reliable omni-channel experience for customers; (8) the failure or breach of information systems; (9) the ability to protect customer data from fraud and theft; (10) our dependence upon independent third parties to manufacture all of our merchandise; (11) changes in the cost of raw materials, labor, and freight; (12) supply chain disruption; (13) our dependence upon key executive management; (14) our growth strategy, including our new store, e-commerce, and international expansion plans; (15) our reliance on third parties to provide us with certain key services for our business; (16) claims made against us resulting in litigation or changes in laws and regulations applicable to our business; and (17) lease obligations and our substantial indebtedness, including restrictions imposed by such indebtedness. Additional information concerning these and other factors can be found in Express, Inc.'s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law.

SOURCE Express, Inc.

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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