© Reuters. Express vs. Gap: Which Apparel Stock is a Better Buy?

Apparel retailers are experiencing a solid recovery from their pandemic-precipitated slump, with surging demand thanks to people’s gradual return to their pre-COVID lifestyles. So, popular apparel companies Gap (GPS) and Express (EXPR) should grow significantly in the coming months. But which of these stocks is a better buy now? Read more to find out.The Gap, Inc. (GPS) is a San Francisco-based international retail apparel company that offers casual apparel, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and Intermix brands. The company offers its products through company-operated stores, franchise stores, websites, third-party arrangements, and catalogs. As of March 04, 2021, GPS had 3,100 company-operated stores and 615 franchise stores.

Express, Inc. (EXPR), in Columbus, Ohio, is a specialty apparel and accessories retailer that offers merchandise for women and men under the Express brand. The company sells its products, which are created by its in-house design team, through its brick & mortar retail and outlet stores, e-commerce operations and franchise operations. As of January 30, 2021, it operated 570 stores in 46 states across the United States and Puerto Rico.

After suffering a severe impact from COVID-19 pandemic related restrictions, most apparel retailers focused on creating or expanding their digital presence to stay afloat. But now that the economy is reopening at a fast pace and people are looking to buy outdoor apparel, the industry is seeing a surge in demand. Along with strong e-commerce purchases, brick & mortar apparel stores are witnessing increasing foot traffic. Indeed, the global outdoor clothing market is expected to grow at a 3.7% CAGR between 2021 – 2027. So, both GPS and EXPR should benefit from the industry tailwinds.

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