Founded in 1984, the fast-fashion retailer Forever 21 has become one of the largest and most popular brands in the previous years. Because of its fashion-oriented clothing offered at an affordable price, teenagers and thrifty adults usually shop at Forever 21. However, this latest news about Forever 21 might surprise us all, especially the avid fans of the brand: Forever 21 decided to file for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States to reportedly structure its entire business. It will be closing up to 350 underperforming stores, 178 shops in the US alone, with the rest of the prospected shops located mostly in Europe and Asia, out of its 815 brick-and-mortar shops and will stop their operations in up to 40 countries. What has led Forever 21 to this unexpected dilemma?
As what was mentioned earlier, Forever 21 is a fast-fashion retailer. For those who aren't quite familiar, fast fashion, which rose to fame in recent years, is a trend that made the latest fashion and styles available for the public at an affordable price. The fast-fashion clothing items are mostly made from synthetic fibers and are not created to last for a long time. The disposable apparels produced by these fast-fashion retailers resulted in an increase of non-biodegradable textile waste all over the world. And because the production is huge, these sellers tend to rely on low-wage workers in China and Bangladesh, thus pushing them to their limit. As people around the globe became concerned with their environment and the workforce, they are slowly switching to more eco-friendly clothing options which affected the sales of fast-fashion retailers like Forever 21.
By now, you might be asking if it's time to go last-minute shopping at the nearest Forever 21. The answer is NO. According to a representative of the mall chain giant SM, Forever 21 stores in the Philippines won't be affected by the move. Most probably, the Philippines is one of the well-performing markets for Forever 21 since their arrival in 2010 because Pinoys are generally into stylish but affordable items. So, yeah, the brand you love isn't going away too soon!
In our perspective, however, Forever 21 should make its products environment-friendly but still price them reasonably so we can still purchase their fashion items without feeling guilty now that we know the harm it does to the ecosystem. Also, they must invest in online shopping platforms more, as most working adults don't have enough time to go to physical stores, if they want to regain their global presence.
That's just our two cents regarding the matter. How about you? Do you think Forever 21 could still regain its glory amidst this bankruptcy issue?