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  • Forever 21 was once among America's fastest-growing fast-fashion retailers.

    Forever 21 曾是美國成長最迅速的快速時尚零售商。

  • It transformed its once penniless founders into billionaires.

    它使其創辦人從過去的窮光蛋搖身變為億萬富翁。

  • Established itself as a powerhouse in the fast-fashion world.

    它確立了自己在快速時尚界的強勢地位。

  • And, at its peak, made $4.4 billion in revenue.

    並且,它在其巔峰期創造了 440 億美金的營收。

  • But the once flush company is now preparing to file for bankruptcy.

    但這曾經紅極一時的公司正在準備聲請破產。

  • So, what happened?

    所以,發生了什麼事?

  • Back in the day, Forever 21 embodied the American dream.

    回首過去,Forever 21 體現了美國夢。

  • In 1981, Jin Sook and Do Won "Don" Chang moved to Los Angeles from South Korea with no money, no college degrees, and speaking little English.

    1981 年,張金淑和張東文在沒錢、沒大學文憑以及不會講多少英文的狀況下,從南韓搬到洛杉磯。

  • To make ends meet, Jin Sook worked as a hairdresser while Don worked as a janitor, pumped gas, and served coffee.

    為了維持生計,張金淑當了美髮師而張東文身兼工友、加油站員工和咖啡店店員。

  • Until he noticed that "the people who drove the nicest cars were all in the garment business."

    直到他發現那些「開好車的人都從事服裝業。」

  • So three years later, with $11,000 in savings, the Changs opened a 900-square-foot clothing store called Fashion 21.

    因此三年後,靠著 1.1 萬美金的儲蓄,張氏夫妻開了一間 900 平方英尺大的店舖,叫做 Fashion 21。

  • The couple took advantage of wholesale closeouts to buy merchandise from manufacturers at a discount.

    這對夫妻利用批發清倉的方式,向工廠以優惠的價錢購買貨物。

  • Their system worked.

    他們的方法奏效了。

  • The store made $700,000 in sales its first year.

    這間店第一年就達到了 70 萬美金的銷售額。

  • Fashion 21 was initially only popular with LA's Korean American community.

    Fashion 21 最初只受到洛杉磯韓裔美國社區的歡迎。

  • But the Changs leveraged their success, opening new stores every six months, which broadened the company's customer base at the same time.

    但是張氏夫妻借助自己的成功,每六個月就開一間新店舖,這同時擴大了公司的客群。

  • They also changed the name to Forever 21 to emphasize the idea that it was "for anyone who wants to be trendy, fresh and young in spirit."

    他們也將名稱改為 Forever 21 以強調「給任何想要變得時尚、新穎和年輕的靈魂」這樣的概念。

  • The company's key to success was simple: cultivate a huge following by selling trendy clothing for low prices.

    這間公司成功的關鍵非常簡單:透過銷售低價的流行服飾以建立一群廣大的追隨者。

  • While this is something that today's consumers pretty much expect, Forever 21 was one of the first to do it.

    儘管這基本上就是今日消費者的期望,Forever 21 是最先做到這一點的公司之一。

  • And they were the fastest.

    而且他們是最快的。

  • Jin Sook was eventually approving over 400 designs a day.

    張金淑最終一天要批准超過 400 項設計。

  • Which meant the company could sell trends as they were happening.

    這也表示這間公司可以在新趨勢發生的同時銷售它們。

  • Even if some of those designs landed Forever 21 in trouble.

    儘管有些設計使 Forever 21 遇上麻煩。

  • But while other brands and designers might not have been Forever 21's biggest fans, customers couldn't get enough of their affordable styles.

    但是儘管其他品牌和設計師不太喜歡 Forever 21,顧客卻對它們的平價時尚愛不釋手。

  • As a result, Forever 21 became one of the largest tenants of American malls, with 480 locations nationwide.

    因此,Forever 21 在全國擁有 480 個據點,成為美國的購物中心裡最大的承租商之一。

  • And by 2015, business was booming.

    而到了 2015 年,生意迅速發展。

  • Forever 21's sales peaked, with $4.4 billion in global sales that year.

    那一年 Forever 21 的銷售額達到巔峰,在全球賺進 440 萬美金。

  • As for the Changs?

    至於張氏夫妻?

  • They became one of America's wealthiest couples, with a combined net worth reaching an estimated $5.9 billion in March, 2015.

    他們成為美國最富有的夫妻之一,2015 年 3 月他們的聯合淨資產估計高達 59 億美金。

  • Forever 21's goal was to become an $8 billion company by 2017 and open 600 new stores in three years.

    Forever 21 的目標是在 2017 之前成為市值 80 億美金的公司,並在三年內再拓展 600 間新店。

  • But the company's aggressive expansion would also lead to its downfall.

    但這間公司野心勃勃的擴張行動也導致它們的衰落。

  • Part of what made Forever 21 popular in the first place was its fast-fashion model.

    剛開始讓 Forever 21 受歡迎起來的其中一個原因就是它們的快速時尚模型。

  • Even though its products were always mass-produced, they still felt unique because its stores only sold select styles for a limited time.

    儘管它們的商品一直是大量生產,這些商品仍有其獨特感,因為店裡只會在限定期間內販售精選的設計。

  • However, as the company focused on growing bigger, its styles became more cookie-cutter.

    不過,當公司專注在擴大規模的同時,它們的設計變得更加千篇一律。

  • As a result, Forever 21 started to lose touch with its core customers, while competitors like H&M and Zara rose.

    因此當競爭者像是 H&M 和 Zara 崛起後,Forever 21 開始流失它們的核心顧客。

  • No longer the trendsetter, Forever 21 became the butt of the joke.

    不再是潮流引領者的 Forever 21,成為了笑柄。

  • It's also no longer the fastest in the game.

    它也不再是行業中最迅速的。

  • Internet brands like Fashion Nova churn out celebrity and influencer-inspired styles at a rapid-fire pace.

    網路品牌像 Fashion Nova 接二連三地大量製造受到名流及有影響力者啟發的設計。

  • And as e-commerce has continued to boom, traditional retailers like Forever 21 have struggled to adapt to changing consumer behaviors.

    隨著電子商務持續發展,傳統零售商像是 Forever 21 對於適應消費者行為的改變有困難。

  • According to a March, 2019 survey, millennials make 60% of their purchases online, and overall, prefer online shopping over going to a physical store.

    根據一份 2019 年 3 月的調查,千禧世代會在網路上完成他們百分之 60 的消費,並且大部分都偏好線上購物勝過去實體店鋪。

  • Yet, Forever 21 continued opening new stores as recently as 2016, even expanding existing stores to take over multiple floors with men's, children's, and home-goods sections.

    然而,Forever 21 直到 2016 年都還持續開新店,甚至擴大現有的店面至多樓層,增加男性、兒童和居家用品的區域。

  • Which could help explain why Forever 21's sales are estimated to have dropped by 20% to 25% in 2018.

    這就可以解釋為什麼 Forever 21 在 2018 年的銷售額被預估下跌百分之 20 到 25。

  • On top of that, the Changs, who still own the company, have lost more than $4 billion from their personal net worths.

    除此之外,仍然擁有這間公司的張氏夫妻損失了超過 40 億美金的個人淨資產。

  • The company overall is now $500 million in debt and considering filing for bankruptcy.

    這間公司目前已經負債 5 億美金,並且正在考慮提出破產申請。

  • Forever 21 has already started downsizing its stores.

    Forever 21 已經開始在減少它們的店面。

  • And as one of the largest tenants of America's malls, a widespread shutdown of Forever 21 could exacerbate what's already being referred to as the "retail apocalypse," which has already closed more than 15,000 retailers across the US.

    另外,作為美國購物中心裡最大的承租商之一,Forever 21 的大規模閉店可能使已經被稱為「零售末日」的狀況惡化,全美已有 1.5 萬間的零售商倒閉。

  • And could shut down 75,000 more, according to investment firm UBS.

    而根據瑞銀投資公司的說法,可能還有 7.5 萬間會倒閉。

  • But bankruptcy doesn't always mean the end for a company.

    但是破產不一定就代表著一間公司的終點。

  • In fact, it could give Forever 21 time to restructure and bounce back.

    事實上,這能夠給予 Forever 21 重整並振作的時間。

  • The company could shut down its least profitable stores and try rebranding itself.

    Forever 21 可以關閉其盈利最低的商店並試著重塑自己的形象。

  • But, in an age of cheap Internet boutiques and fast-fashion empires, this might not be enough.

    但是,在線上平價商店和快速時尚稱霸的時代,只有這樣可能不太夠。

  • So it turns out Forever 21 might not be forever after all.

    所以看來,Forever 21 到底可能不會是那麼 forever(永遠)。

Forever 21 was once among America's fastest-growing fast-fashion retailers.

Forever 21 曾是美國成長最迅速的快速時尚零售商。

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Forever 21 的興盛與衰落 | Business Insider (The Rise And Fall Of Forever 21)

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    up1217home 發佈於 2019 年 10 月 31 日
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