Forever 21 will close 111 stores, pending the outcome of continued conversations with its landlords.
In an email to FN, a Forever 21 spokesperson shared the company’s original statement, “Forever 21’s restructuring will focus on maximizing the value of our U.S. footprint and shuttering certain international locations… The decisions as to which domestic stores will be closing are ongoing, pending the outcome of continued conversations with landlords. We do, however, expect a significant number of these stores will remain open and operate as usual, and we do not expect to exit any major markets in the U.S.”
What We Reported (Nov. 1, 10:40 a.m. ET)
Forever 21 Inc. could potentially save dozens of stores that were slated for closing as it undergoes bankruptcy restructuring.
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A Bloomberg report, citing people familiar with the matter, noted that the fast-fashion retailer will keep open more than 60 of the estimated 200 outposts it intended to ditch now that it’s secured rent concessions from its largest landlords.
When Forever 21 filed Chapter 11 in September, it said it planned to close up to 178 domestic stores. However, in late October, the retailer noted in court documents its new plans to shutter an additional 21 locations — including its 90,000-square-foot flagship store in New York City’s Times Square.
Today’s report said that the chain is now looking at nixing about 111 stores, but the final count could still change.
FN has reached out to Forever 21 for comment.
Amid shrinking sales and declining foot traffic, the California-based company filed for bankruptcy in late September, sharing intentions to restructure and focus on the profitable core part of its operations.
At the time, it announced that it would shutter more than a third of its 500-plus outposts across the U.S., as well as exit most of its locations in Asia and Europe. (It will continue operations in Mexico and Latin America.)
Forever 21 is supported by $350 million in financing to aid in restructuring efforts. Its bankruptcy comes at a time when a shift to e-commerce and broader brick-and-mortar downsizing have led to the downfall of many physical retail players. It also joins the swelling list of companies — including, more recently, Barneys New York — that are using Chapter 11 protection in hopes of rightsizing their store fleet and overhauling their business strategies.
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