Forever 21 closes ‘dropper’ stores and 6 units are still in operation

The American fast-fashion clothing chain forever 21 slowly closing its stores in Brazil. At the beginning of June, the company closed the activities of the Bourbon store mall, in São Paulo, from units in São Roque (Catarina Fashion Outlet), Itupeva (Premium Outlet São Paulo), Guarulhos, Manaus and Goiânia. The company had previously closed the Campinas unit.

Until recently, the company had 15 stores in Brazil. Now, according to Forever 21 through its social networks, six are operating: in Niterói (RJ), in Tijuca (in the capital of Rio de Janeiro), in Salvador and, in São Paulo, the stores of Avenida Paulista and Shopping Eldorado . But their days are already numbered. According to a company executive, within one to two months, the brand will definitely leave the country.

“We had the summer collection ready, the stores were working well, we were planning to open new units. But the owner of the brand in Los Angeles, USA, chose to close its activities in Brazil,” said declared a former official of the administration of the brand in the country, without identifying himself. “They forbade us to speak to the press,” he explains.

However, the Brazilian Association of Mall Merchants (Alshop) has confirmed the closure of the chain. The malls where the aforementioned units operate have also confirmed unit closures.

Judicial recovery

In September 2019, the retailer in fashionwhich at the time had 800 stores in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America, entered judicial recovery. At the end of May, Authentic Brands Group (ABG), a global brand development company, announced the acquisition of Forever 21. Another shareholder is the Canadian fund Brookfield Property Partners.

In Brazil, the brand has been in trouble since late last year, when Forever 21 became the target of lawsuits from malls charging unpaid rent. In the absence of a negotiation agreement, the company closed, at the beginning of last year, the 11 stores of the shopping centers of the Multiplan chain, including those of the Morumbi, Vila Olímpia and Anália Franco shopping centers (São Paulo ), Brasília, Ribeirão Preto (SP) and Canoes (RS). When contacted, Multiplan declined to comment on the matter.

The brand has already been investigated for forced labor in the United States. But in Brazil, according to officials, everything was done legally. “The company is not indebted to shopping centers. The products were made in Brazil, of quality and at the service of the body of Brazilian women. But the board understood that we wouldn’t have the strength to fight with the brand owner,” the executive said.

Elmer Hayward

"Pop culture fan. Coffee expert. Bacon nerd. Infuriatingly humble communicator. Friendly gamer."

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