Express returns to Biloxi after six year absence

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - After Hurricane Katrina, many national chains have hesitated to reestablish stores on the coast.

"Especially some of the national retailers, like Express, they're looking at it like a big catastrophe. Maybe we need to take a minute to decide. Let's take a little time to decide if we're going to come back here. Obviously they did, six years later, and we couldn't be happier," said Edgewater Mall Marketing Director Michelle Rogers.

According to Rogers, many of the national retailers made decisions to return or not to return based on the population shifts after the storm.

The Express clothing store has returned after it closed its doors in Edgewater Mall following Katrina.  The new store has a new location and expanded inventory for shoppers.

"I'm really excited. I get the coupons in the mail all the time, so I actually get to use them," said Long Beach Resident Celeena Hoffmann.

Getting people to spend money in this economy can be a challenge. However, tempting customers with more options is a great way to generate spending.

"We're always happy to offer our customers another reason to be here," said Rogers.

Before the new opening, fans of the store would have to travel out of state to get their favorite clothing fix.  However, having an option closer to home means more money will stay local.  A returning national chain is also an encouraging sign that retailers are ready to reinvest in South Mississippi.

"I think we were lacking a little bit but there's been more things opening I've noticed," said Hoffmann.

The new store has even helped the job market, creating around 30 new jobs

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