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Express is making a big push in SF with a giant, 15,726 square foot, multi-level flagship store on the corner of Geary and Powell. On Thursday evening, we got a sneak peek of the prime Union Square location, which is visible from every corner of the park. It's the only stand-alone Express store in SF (two others are inside malls) but not the first. David Kornberg, Express's President, tells us the first SF storefront was on Post Street in the mid-80's. We hit up Kornberg and CEO Michael Weiss for all the details on how Express plans to conquer the SF market.
"Everyone wants to look good in [his or her] pants," Weiss says, especially the denizens of San Francisco, which the honchos see as an important, cosmopolitan city, filled with young professionals with disposable incomes. While the price points are competitive, Express is not "fast fashion," Kornberg insists, because Express clothing is higher quality than other brands like H&M or Forever 21. "It's the high-perceived value that is very important," he says.
Expect to find the same merchandise at Express SF as you'd find in any of the stores across the country—the only difference may be in the sizes stocked. Fitness-crazed SF demands smaller sizes than in other cities. Also look for hand-picked trends that Express merchandisers feel work with the brand's customer. For fall, the punk theme will find its way onto the racks; winter pastels will not. Also, Express is beta-testing an activewear line, though (surprisingly) not yet in SF.
Actress Brooklyn Decker hosted Thursday's event, showcasing upcoming trends
The expansive new space can initially feel intimidating, but the store's levels aren't too deep, which makes it easy to take it all in quickly. The lower level houses menswear, while the street and top levels plus the denim-bar enclave are devoted to women's. The store is divided into four sections: casual, party, work and denim. We fell hard for these boyfriend jeans and this leather vest. Sizing ran slightly larger than true-to-size so head over to find your best fit. If it's been a while since you've hit up an Express, Kronberg promises: "Express's image is clearer now than it was 10 years ago." If you stop by, let us know if you agree!
· Express [Official Site]