Forever 21 faces bankruptcy

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  • Fashion retailer 21, a fashion line popular among teenage girls, is considering filing bankruptcy after a stalled deal with its financial lenders failed to help restructure its debt.
  • Landlords will likely have a hard time filling up the vacancies, as the mall staple has more than 8,000 stores in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
  • The owners of the apparel retailer had reportedly lost their billionaire status from $1.6 billion, down from a previous estimate of $3 billion last year.
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Photo from Teller Report

Apparel retailer Forever 21 won’t probably stay with us forever.

According to Bloomberg, the fashion line is already preparing for a possible bankruptcy filing after talks for additional financing and a stalled deal with lenders following a meeting with a team of advisers that could help restructure its debt.

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Photo from dlisted.com

The meeting with advisers included a reevaluation of the firm’s 815-store portfolio in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Korea and the Philippines.

If Forever 21 were to close a significant number of stores in American malls as part of the restructuring, its landlords could have trouble filling the vacancies. 

Indianapolis-based Simon said last March that Forever 21 is considered its sixth-largest tenant excluding department stores, with 99 outlets covering 1.5 million square feet.

Bloomberg said co-founder Do Won Chang has been focused on maintaining a controlling stake in Forever 21, which has already limited its fundraising options.

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Photo from Economic Times

A group of company officials, without the approval of Chang, had asked its biggest landlords to consider taking a stake in the retailer amid a disagreement within its leadership, Bloomberg previously reported.

Founded in 1984 by Chang and spouse Jin Sook, Forever 21 has been a mall staple among teenage girls, operating in more than 8,000 stores in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Forbes reported in July that the couple had already lost their billionaire status from $1.6 billion, down from a previous estimate of $3 billion.

Sources: Bloomberg, Forbes

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