Limited Brands plans to sell clothing for both men and women in around 40 of its Express stores in an attempt to lure male shoppers.

The first of the new stores are due to open by early August, and the change will be backed by Limited's first national television advertising campaign.

"The whole idea of shopping in groups, making it a date, is transforming that mall experience that had been routine," says Ed Razek, Limited Brands's chief marketing officer. "Guys enjoy the experience of shopping with women. It's fun to watch them try things on."

Limited Brands, based in Columbus, Ohio, operates 391 Express men's stores and 649 Express women's units.