UNITED STATES—The retail chain Forever 21, founded in 1984 filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection on Sunday, September 29. The economically priced fast-growing store, which caters to teens and adults, has over 800 stores internationally and over 500 hundred stores in the United States. The privately-owned company based in Los Angeles will be closing down 178 stores in the United States.
Forever 21 has plans to close stores in Europe and Asia, but stores in Latin America and Mexico will remain open. The company stated they will center their focus on increasing the market price of stores in the United States, and internationally based designated locations will remain open.
“The decision as to close domestic stores will be closing is ongoing, pending the outcome of continued conversations with landlords,” said the company in a statement. “We do, however, expect a significant number of these stores to remain open and operate as usual, and we do not expect to exit any major markets in the U.S.”
On the expanding list retailers pursuing bankruptcy in addition to Forever 21 include Diesel USA, Barneys New York, Charlotte Russe, and Payless, which have closed all if not a mass majority of their stores.
As stated by the global research firm Coresight Research, in 2019, that retailers in the United States will close over 8,558 stores and 3,446 opened. In 2018, there were 3,258 stores that opened compared to 5,844 that closed its doors. By the end of 2019, Coresight estimated 12,000 stores will shut down.
Forever 21 President Linda Chang indicated in a statement that the filing of bankruptcy was an “important and necessary step to secure the future of our company, which will enable us to reorganize our business and reposition Forever 21.”