Forever 21 is a multinational fast fashion retailer headquartered in Los Angeles, California, United States. Originally founded as the store Fashion 21 in Highland Park, Los Angeles in 1984, it is currently operated by Authentic Brands Group and Simon Property Group, with about 540 outlets.
The company sells accessories, beauty products, home goods, and clothing for women, men and children, and is considered an epitome of the fast fashion industry due to its fashionable and trendy offerings with very low pricing.The company has been involved in various controversies that include labor practice issues and copyright infringement accusations.
Learn about the Decline and Failure of Forever 21 in the Below Video
2018–2019: Competition and Bankruptcy
- Facing competition from other fast fashion brands, in 2018, it began downsizing its stores during what was dubbed a retail apocalypse. It left the Netherlands in January 2018, Thailand in June 2018, and Ireland in late 2018. Forever 21 then pulled out of Taiwan on March 31, 2019.
- In July 2019, the company was accused of fat shaming when they included weight-loss bars with orders containing plus-sized clothing. Forever 21 apologised, stating the bars were an “oversight.” The global explosion in fast fashion competitors, reputation damage (caused by both labor rights groups and environmentalists), high cost rental locations, and competition from online retail led to a temporary collapse in global operations.
- In 2019, the company experienced a 32% drop in global sales. Wrote Women’s Wear Daily about the bankruptcy, “the company over-expanded with too many stores that were too big, and lacked sufficient e-commerce business.” On September 29, 2019, Forever 21 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
- To downsize, the company announced that it was ceasing operations in 40 countries and closing a percentage of its 600 stores, particularly those in Asia and Europe, and to add focus to the profitable core part of its operations in the U.S. and Latin America, as well as on e-commerce and licensing agreements. Over the next year, it withdrew from Hong Kong, Portugal, Japan, and Canada, and closed its website and physical stores in England
Learn Why Did Forever 21 File for Bankruptcy ?
Forever 21 has been practically synonymous with “fast fashion” and its massive stores have become a common fixture in America’s shopping malls. But the retailer got in trouble and Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy in September 2019. The brand then closed hundreds of stores, as its clothes became more interchangeable with “cheap” rather than “trendy.”CNBC