Express Aims to Boost Cash Reserves to Get Through Pandemic

Express's CEO says the retailer is aiming to boost its cash reserves during the pandemic and is not considering a bankruptcy filing, a media report says.
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Express  (EXPR) - Get Report reportedly hired investment bank Lazard Frères to help raise enough financing to get the fashion retailer through the coronavirus pandemic.

Shares of the Columbus, Ohio, company at last check were 2.8% higher at $1.12.

Chief Executive Timothy Baxter told the Wall Street Journal that Express isn't considering a bankruptcy filing "and continues to take decisive and appropriate action to manage liquidity throughout this prolonged pandemic."

The company is looking to add to its cash reserves until enough of the U.S. population is vaccinated against the coronavirus to enable in-person shopping and office work to resume, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter. 

Without the additional financing, the company could face a cash crunch, the people told the Journal.

Baxter said Express "has several possible options to enhance liquidity as it moves into 2021."

Earlier this month, Express reported a wider-than-expected fiscal-third-quarter loss and said it would cut jobs. At the time, Baxter said "we have effectively managed that which was within our control."

The company also said that it had cut 10% of staff at its corporate office in Columbus and would not provide guidance due to lack of visibility. 

The retail industry has been hit hard by the covid-19 shutdown, with stores closing or open only to a limited number of customers in an effort to halt the spread of the disease.

A number of workwear retailers have filed under the bankruptcy laws, including Brooks Brothers Group and Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank owner Tailored Brands.