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FOREVER 21, the 5th largest fast fashion retailer in the United States, is reportedly facing
bankruptcy. Founded in 1984 by a Korean-American couple, FOREVER 21 operates more than 800
stores in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America. This week Korea Now will look into
FOREVER 21 and the story of its rise and fall.
FOREVER 21 began as the store called Fashion 21 with 900 square feet (84㎡) in Highland
Park, Los Angeles. Do Won Chang and his wife Jin Sook Chang, who immigrated to the U.S.
from South Korea in 1981, opened the store in 1984 with only US$11,000 in savings. After
the store took off in LA, they expanded to other locations and the store's name was changed
to FOREVER 21. Originally FOREVER 21 only sold clothes for women but later expanded
to menswear as well. The company now sells accessories, beauty products, home goods and
clothing for women, men and girls. And the clothing is sold to all ages, from toddlers
to adults.
FOREVER 21 is known for its trendy styles and low pricing. Designs similar to those
seen in South Korea were sold to and targeted at the LA Korean American community. In its
first year in operation, sales totaled US$700,000 and by 2013 it generated a revenue of US$3.7
billion. It currently operates more than 800 stores in 57 countries around the world with
about 30,000 employees. It has more than 500 stores in the U.S. alone, including a huge
store near the White House in Washington D.C. Mr. and Mrs. Chang were listed on Forbes'
2019 billionaire list with their total net asset estimated at US$1.5 billion.
However, FOREVER 21 has faced a major crisis due to the recent downturn cycle in the clothing
distribution industry. As e-commerce companies such as Amazon started to dominate the clothing
distribution market, offline clothing retailers have not been able to escape a liquidity crisis.
According to Bloomberg, FOREVER 21 is preparing for a potential bankruptcy filing as the fashion
retailer's cash dwindles and turnaround options fade. The company has been working
on restructuring its debt, but negotiations with possible lenders have so far stalled.
Therefore, focus has shifted toward securing a potential debtor-in-possession loan to take
the company into Chapter 11, even as some window remains to strike a last-minute deal
that keeps it out of court.
The company has also been involved in various copyright controversies. Most recently, the
pop star Ariana Grande is suing FOREVER 21 and seeking US$10 million in damages, claiming
that the retailer used her unauthorized likeness in a social media campaign.
Bankruptcy filing does not mean that FOREVER 21 will be closed. It would rather help the
company shed unprofitable stores and recapitalize the business. However, the fact that FOREVER
21 is preparing for potential bankruptcy can be big news to American teenagers born in
the 1990s, because FOREVER 21 was a kind of trend setter for them. Let's take a listen
to what Jessica had to say who spent her teenage years in California in the 2000s. “When
I was in middle school and high school back in the states, FOREVER 21 was the place I
would just go to with my friends just to take picture and try on the clothes. So if they
all close down, I think it's going to hit me like one of my teenager memories is gone
Now I feel like I'm old...” What are your thoughts on this? Please let me know with
your comments below and thank you for watching Korea Now.
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連鎖服飾 Forever 21 知多少?準備申請破產?| Korea Now (How much do you know about clothing chain Forever 21, preparing to file for bankruptcy?)

242 分類 收藏
up1217home 發佈於 2019 年 9 月 15 日
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