COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Express, Inc. (NYSE: EXPR), a leading U.S. 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 Fastco Commercial S.A., a retail franchise operator led by a management team with over 30 years of experience operating retail franchises in Central and South America. The agreement provides an opportunity to open more than 30 Express stores over a five year period in Panama, Peru, Costa Rica, Colombia, The Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The company expects there will be up to three Express locations open in Panama, Peru, and Costa Rica by the end of the fourth quarter. The product assortment in these locations will resemble that of the U.S. stores with moderate seasonal adjustments. The stores are expected to have the same new store design that Express is rolling out in the U.S. "This is another exciting step in Express' international expansion strategy, particularly with such an experienced partner," said Michael Weiss, president, chairman and CEO, Express, Inc. "Express' fashion forward product offering is perfectly aligned with the Latin American consumer's preference for fashion, fit and color. The Hispanic population in the U.S. has demonstrated a passion for Express and we look forward to expanding that passion throughout Central and South America," he added. International StrategyExpress 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. The company expects to drive international expansion through a three-pronged approach that includes company-owned stores, joint venture relationships and franchise agreements. Express serves a diverse customer base in the company's U.S. stores in both tourist and border geographies. In anticipation of further international growth, Express previously announced plans to open two flagship stores in 2013 – Union Square in San Francisco, CA and Times Square in New York, NY – that will serve as a brand gateway to international and domestic visitors. 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 over 600 retail stores, located primarily in high-traffic shopping malls, lifestyle centers, and street locations across the United States, in Canada and in Puerto Rico, and also distributes its products through the Company's e-commerce website, www.express.com. 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, new store openings, product assortment in stores, use of new store design, international expansion strategy, 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 our sales and results of operations on a seasonal basis and due to store events, promotions and a variety of other factors; (4) increased competition from other retailers; (5) the success of the malls and shopping centers in which our stores are located; (6) our dependence upon independent third parties to manufacture all of our merchandise; (7) our growth strategy, including our international expansion plan; and (8) our dependence on a strong brand image. Additional information concerning these and other factors can be found in Express, Inc.'s filings with the United States 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. Media Contact: Barbara ColemanCorporate Communications (614) 474-4083, firstname.lastname@example.org Investor Contacts:ICR, Inc, Allison Malkin / Anne Rakunas (203) 682-8200 / (310)954-1113 SOURCE Express, Inc.