Forever 21, the US fast fashion brand, has re-entered the UK market with a new website under its new owners.
The retailer exited the UK market in September of last year after its parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In February it was sold to two of its largest landlords and the Authentic Brands Group, which ended the control of its founders the Chang family. It previously operated stores in the UK in London, Birmingham and Liverpool.
Former H&M executive Daniel Kulle was appointed CEO after the deal was completed. The brand is working with cross-border e-commerce solutions provider Global-e to accelerate its global online expansion, and its new website is the result.
Daniel Kulle, CEO at Forever 21, said: “We are excited to offer our trendy collections on our global online site, to our large following of loyal Forever 21 fans in the UK and mainland Europe. Our loyal consumers are digital savvy and expect a seamless, sophisticated online shopping experience, so it is vital for us to ensure that every step in the online journey is tailored to their needs and preferences.
“Despite the market conditions the entire industry is facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we see a strong demand for the Forever 21 brand in the UK and the rest of Europe. We are dedicated to providing the best online shopping experience for both our UK shoppers and other loyal customers globally.”
Forever 21 was founded by the Chang family, Korean immigrants to the US, in 1984 and rode the global fast fashion wave. But in recent years its styles fell out of favour with consumers and the business was particular vulnerable due to its large store footprint in shopping centres, particularly in the US, which had experienced rapidly falling footfall.
Before the sale the Changs had expressed hope that they could retain control of the business, which is is said to have spooked some potential buyers. However ABG, along with Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners, acquired it for $81 million in cash. ABG had previously acquired the brand of iconic New York department store Barneys and its portfolio also includes Juicy Couture, Nine West, Herve Leger and Frye.