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Express Stores to Get a Japanese-Designed Industrial Facelift

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The other week, we popped into the Express store in SoHo to buy a pair of the brand's iconic (and super-flattering) Editor pants—just the normal, straight-leg ones, not the flared or cropped style. We've been going to Express since we were teenagers (Hello, does anyone remember Structure, the brand's men's offshoot from the 90s? Woo, blast from the past.) and, to be honest, Express stores have always looked pretty much the same over the course of the last, oh, 20 years.

Well, that's all about to change. According to a report in today's WWD, Express has commissioned a Japanese redesign of its 600 store locations. The new store prototypes will measure 13,000 square feet and will boast industrial fixtures, a special "denim lab" area, and a runway down the center of each store to showcase special merchandise.

WWD reports:

The prototype is divided into three sections: men’s, women’s, and the denim lab, which has an oak ceiling and suspended trellis in aged timber, polished concrete flooring and outrigger mounted wooden shelves framed by black velvet curtains.

Mortar walls and concrete floors create an open, expansive space, which is accented with aged oak floors. Glossy white walls divide the space into rooms and contrast the natural wood perimeter shelving system. There are also recessed stainless steel troffers, circular stages for displaying product, hanging sculptural elements, interactive touch-screen computers, and live-streaming of Express fashion shows. A two-tiered black wood display forms a raised “runway” down the middle of the store. Fixturing is flexible so the store can give more space to hot-selling categories and items, and less space for weaker merchandise.

· Express to Unveil New Prototype [WWD]