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Express Inc. says it's closing its 17 Canadian stores in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.

The American clothing retailer says it will discontinue its Canadian operations through its subsidiary, Express Fashion Apparel Canada Inc.

Store closing sales will begin in the middle of the month.

The company's CEO David Kornberg said in a statement that the challenging Canadian retail environment and unfavourable exchange rates prevented the company from meeting its expectations in Canada when it entered the market in 2011.

Back then, the company planned to introduce more than 50 Canadian stores over five years.

During the company's last financial year ended Jan. 28, Express Canada recorded net sales of about US$34-million and contributed a US$6-million net loss to Express Inc.

Express operates 635 stores in the U.S. and several locations in Puerto Rico.

Receiving a large refund every year could mean you’re having more income tax taken from your paycheque than necessary. Reporter Craig Wong explains how to reduce the amount deducted.

The Canadian Press