Fast Fashion’s Fall: Forever 21 Files for Bankruptcy

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Nothing lasts forever.

Forever 21, a fast-fashion mall cornerstone for teens and young adults, has filed for bankruptcy. 

Vast retail spaces known for their plethora of trendy and affordable clothing options will soon be ghost towns made up of empty clothing racks and unadorned mannequins. 

Although precise locations have yet to be announced, the Los Angeles-based retailer plans to close up to 178 stores in the United States and up to 350 stores around the globe. Forever 21 is the fifth largest specialty retailer in the U.S. 

Despite Forever 21’s tremendous growth over the last few decades, husband and wife duo and South Korean immigrants, Do Won Chang and Jin Sook Chang, still privately own the chain, which currently has 549 stores across the U.S. and 251 other locations worldwide.

The average size of one store is 38,000 square feet, which would leave massive holes across shopping malls as the holiday shopping season approaches. 

The company will continue to maintain its website as well as a significant number of brick-and-mortar stores across shopping malls. 

While the company does not plan to go out of business, in a letter to customers sent out on Sunday morning, they indicated voluntary bankruptcy protection under a Chapter 11 filing. 

Forever 21 is one of many of its kind to file for bankruptcy in the past five years.

Brittany Maher

Brittany Maher is a Georgia born writer, poet and journalist. When she’s not wrangling words and slingin’ ink, you can find her by the river with her dog Lego, at a local concert venue or sipping coffee in the poetry section of a bookstore.

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