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Forever 21: Fashion retailer files in Chapter 11 bankruptcy today



Forever 21 a one-time destination for buyers who fell victim to their own rapid expansion and changing consumer tastes, filed Sunday Chapter 11 for bankruptcy protection. The privately-owned Los Angeles-based company said it will close up to 178 stores.

The company once had more than 800 stores in 57 countries. According to a press release, Forever collected $ 350 million "to facilitate the rescheduling": $ 275 million from JP Morgan Chase and $ 75 million from TPG Sixth Street Partners.

"This was an important and necessary step to secure the future of our company, which will enable us to organize our business and relocate Forever 21

," said Linda Chang, Executive Vice President of Forever 21, Inc., in a statement.

Forever 21 joins Barneys New York and Diesel USA in a growing list of retailers seeking bankruptcy protection as they compete against online competitors. Others like Payless ShoeSource and Charlotte Russe have shut down completely.

So far this year, listed US retailers have announced that they will close 8,588 stores and open 3,446, according to global research firm Coresight Research. This compares to 5,844 closures and 3,258 openings throughout 2018.

Coresight estimates store closures to be 12,000 by the end of 2019.

Forever 21 was founded in 1984 and along with other so-called fast fashion chains such as H&M and Zara , rode a wave of popularity among young customers who gained momentum in the mid-1990s.

The company's popularity grew during the Great Recession as shoppers sought fashion purchases.

But in the last year or so, fast fashion has fallen out of style. Young customers are losing interest in throwing clothes and are more interested in buying eco-friendly products.


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