There is now a concert venue named for mall chain Express in its hometown of Columbus, Ohio.
The LC Pavilion, which hosts acts like Ellie Goulding, Vance Joy and The 1975, will be renamed to Express Live!, the retailer said today. It was previously named for an apartment builder in the area.
While it's not unusual for a retailer to buy the naming rights to a venue — i.e. Levi's Stadium, Target Field — Express is substantially smaller than those companies, with just over $2 billion in annual sales. (Levi's has annual sales of $4.8 billion, while Target's is $73 billion.) It's also a throwback for those who best remember Express from high school, when it somehow occupied a place in suburban minds as a destination for both professional-looking clothes and club-wear.
"Music plays an integral role in the identity and social interactions of EXPRESS shoppers, who follow an influx of artists on social media," the retailer said in a statement without specifying how much it paid for the rights. "Attending a performance at the newly named EXPRESS LIVE! venue offers the ultimate connection and experience for a true fan."
Presumably, it will also get big music acts and concertgoers to tweet, 'gram and Facebook post that they're at "Express Live!", though whether they will use upper-case letters and an exclamation mark remains to be seen.
Express, which has also partnered with Kate Upton and basketball player Stephen Curry in the past year, has been doing relatively well in a tough retail environment, especially as it ramps up its outlet business. It's posted increases in its same-store sales for the past three quarters and expects another for the fourth quarter, and saw its stock rise 18% last year.