Express to open Times Square flagship

Cost of space forces retailer to downgrade 2012 outlook
May 22, 2012 03:00PM

Express has signed for a flagship space in Times Square, Columbus Business First reported, citing information from the fashion retailer’s earnings call this morning. CEO Michael Weiss declined to reveal the exact address of the flagship, but attributed the company’s downbeat expectations for the remainder of the year to costs associated with the new New York location.

Express had switched to a new, “more desirable” location “in the heart of Times Square” for its flagship, Weiss said, after nearly reaching a deal for another storefront. Previous reports pegged the young-adult clothier’s interest to at least part of Durst Organization’s 45,000-square-foot retail vacancy at 4 Times Square, on the corner of Broadway and 42nd Street. The landlord was reportedly seeking as much as $45 million a year for the space.

That expense appears to be weighing on Express’ expected performance. The switch pushed back the company’s anticipated opening of a New York flagship 10 months to fall 2013. Meanwhile, an additional $3 million pre-tax expense associated with the new location will push shares down 2 more cents. There won’t be any sales windfall to compensate for that cost until at least 2013. [Columbus Business First]