Express Inc. Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Jason Judd will leave the company Nov. 17, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Mark Still, who is senior vice president of brand finance and planning and allocation, will add the duties of interim CFO and treasurer, reporting directly to newly arrived CEO Stewart Glendinning.
Express Inc. has been late in addressing major shifts in how Americans dress, and has been grappling with extreme financial difficulties.
“Express is the archetypal middle-market mass retailer that consumers are increasingly willing to either cut out of the portfolio of stores they visit, or buy less from, as they look to save money,” GlobalData Managing Director Neil Saunders said following the company’s Q2 report.
After facing delisting when its stock price fell below $1 for an extended time earlier this year, the company in August executed a reverse stock split and said it would cut 150 jobs. In its most recent quarter, net sales fell 6.4% year over year to $435.3 million, comps fell 13%, inventory rose 20% and gross margin contracted about 1,000 basis points to 23.1%.
The company said it had hired advisers to help review its business model and achieve $200 million in annualized savings by 2025.
Glendinning, who had served as group president of prepared foods at Tyson Foods, arrived in September. He replaced longtime Chief Executive Officer Tim Baxter, who had spent 26 years with Macy’s and the former May Department Stores. These leadership changes underscore Express Inc.’s need for operational efficiency, but the company must also address its merchandising weakness, according to Saunders.
“Express management has been eager to highlight that costs are being cut to support the bottom line, with around $65 million of savings earmarked for 2023,” he said. “These actions are sound, but when margins are down by 1,000 basis points and sales are nosediving it rather suggests that at least as much effort needs to be spent on fixing the brand as is being exerted on reviewing costs. Express simply cannot shrink its way to success.”