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EXPRESS is an American specialty fashion retailer headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Marketed as modern style for young fashion-forward men and women, driven entirely by original design, Express operates over 550 stores in the United States and generates $1.8 billion in annual sales.

The first Express store was opened in 1980 ( as Limited Express), in the Chicago Water Tower as a younger, hipper version of The Limited. Current CEO Michael Weiss joined the brand in 1981 when the test expanded to include eight stores. By 1986, Express was 250 stores strong and began testing the sale of men’s merchandise in 16 stores the following year. Men’s fashion proved so popular that the line was spun off into its own brand, Structure, in 1989. In the same year, Michael Weiss was named Merchandiser of the Year by Apparel Merchandising Magazine. Express topped off a decade of outstanding growth by hitting the $1 billion mark in 1991.

In 2001, Express became a dual gender brand once again with the reintegration of Structure as Express Men. Dual gender Express stores began opening the following year. The newly unified brand debuted its first ever national television campaign, which featured men’s and women’s looks as well as denim.

In 2001, Structure, a Limited Brands division, was consolidated into the company as ExpressMen. Structure was a line of wear-to-work and casual wear clothing for men, which began in Express stores. By 1993, the line had become popular enough that Limited Brands instituted it as an independent division. Due to sagging sales, however, Limited brought Structure back under Express management in 2001, making Express a dual-gender brand. In 2003, after the closing or re-branding of all Structure stores, the Structure brand name was sold to Sears.

On May 15, 2007, Limited Brands announced its intent to sell a 67% stake in Express to an affiliate of a private equity firm called Golden Gate Capital Partners, based in San Francisco. When the sale was finalized in July 2007, Golden Gate's stake in the company was 75% instead of the announced 67%.

Source: wikipedia

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