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Forever 21 Is Closing Down Most Of Its Stores In Asia As It Files For Bankruptcy

The apparel company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sunday, 29 September.

Cover image via Philip Pessar/Flickr NST

Following its recent filing for bankruptcy, fashion retailer Forever 21 will be shutting down most of its stores in Asia and Europe

On Sunday, 29 September, the apparel company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, CNBC reported.

The New York Times revealed that it will likely close down about 350 stores across 40 countries.

The company, which has over 800 stores worldwide, has been facing online shopping competition as well as expensive rent and debt

With the change in shopping habits, mall traffic has declined and traditional retailers have struggled to stay afloat.

"This was an important and necessary step to secure the future of our company, which will enable us to reorganise our business and reposition Forever 21," its executive vice president Linda Chang said in a statement, as reported by USA Today.

Forever 21 was founded in 1984 by South Korean immigrants Do Won Chang and his wife, Jin Sook — who still run the chain store today

Their first store was called Fashion 21 and was located in Los Angeles. The chain store focuses on selling apparel to teens and young adults.

It continued to expand the number of stores throughout the globe, even as recently as 2016.

Forever 21 founders Jin Sook and Do Won Chang.

Image via Forever 21/Business Insider

"We went from seven countries to 47 countries within a less-than-six-year time frame and with that came a lot of complexity," daughter of the founders Linda Chang told The New York Times.

"The retail industry is obviously changing — there has been a softening of mall traffic and sales are shifting more to online."

With that said, Forever 21 added that it would continue to honour gift cards, returns, and exchanges.

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