|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California|
|Number of locations||480 (2011) |
|Revenue||US$3.4 billion (2012) |
|Total assets||$1.40 billion (2011) |
|Employees||30,000 (2012) |
Forever 21 is an American chain of clothing retailers with branches in major cities in America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East that offers clothing and accessories for young women, men, and teen girls.
Originally known as Fashion 21, was intended at first for mostly kids and teens. The store was founded in Los Angeles, California in 1984 by Do Won Chang (Hangul: 장도원) and his wife Jin Sook Chang (Hangul: 장진숙). The first Fashion 21 store opened on April 21, 1984. It was located at 5637 N. Figueroa St. in the Highland Park district of Los Angeles. The store sized at only 900 square feet (84 m2). It is still in operation and bears the chain's original name. Trendy designs seen in South Korea were sold and targeted to the Los Angeles Korean American community.
In 1989, Forever 21 opened its 11th store and first store located in a mall, at the Panorama Mall in Panorama City, California. Forever 21 increased its presence by expanding the average size to 5,000 square feet (460 m2) per store. Since then, Forever 21 has been running specialty stores in major mall locations nationwide. In 1995, the chain opened its first location outside of California, which was at Mall of the Americas in Miami, Florida. Adding new stores every six months, Forever 21 had reached a total of 40 stores by 1997.
Creating its own prototype store in Northridge Fashion Center, Forever 21 has employed its proprietary design concepts to all its stores since then. By this time Forever 21 also increased its average size to 9,000 square feet (840 m2) per store in prime spots of top tier malls. In January 2010, Forever 21 opened a massive, 85,000 square feet, 2-tier store at the Los Cerritos Center in Cerritos, California, their first flagship department store location.
Forever 21 has received attention in the media for printing "John 3:16" on the bottom of their trademark yellow bags. A spokeswoman from Forever 21's LA headquarters said the Biblical quote is a "demonstration of the owners' Christian faith."
The Forever 21 Retail Inc. owns and operates numerous stores in different formats. Current store operating formats are Forever 21, XXI Forever and Heritage 1981. There are many brands that originate out of the stores such as Forever 21+, Love 21 Contemporary and Maternity, Forever 21 Girls and 21 Men.
- Forever 21:
This original and primary store carries women’s and junior’s clothing, accessories, active wear, swimwear, lingerie, handbags, and shoes. The clothes imitate Korean, European and American fashion trends.
- XXI Forever:
Flagships stores that occupy an average of 24,000 square foot per store.
- For Love21 (store):
A French boutique styled accessory store with women's accessories, shoes, handbags, cosmetics tools and more.
- Forever 21+ (department in store):
Formerly named Faith 21, this line carries women's apparel in extended sizes XL-3X/12-20.
- Love 21 (brand):
A contemporary line for women. Their style of clothing is more suited for women 21 and older as well as bigger sizes. Love 21 also houses maternity clothes for mothers-to-be.
- Forever 21 Girls:
Formerly known as HTG81, this is the brand for girls moving into their pre-teen sizes.
Formerly known as Heritage 1981 Men's, it is completely fast fashion and suited style men's apparel at low price points.
As of 2011, Forever21 has opened over 480 stores worldwide.
Forever 21 also purchased the Gadzooks chain of clothing stores.
The grand opening of the London flagship store was on Wednesday 27 July 2011 with shoppers queuing up in the early morning. The store is located near Bond Street underground station and replaces HMV as its newest tenant.
More recent opened stores in UK
- Westfield Stratford City - September 2011
- Lakeside Shopping Centre - 2012
- Bluewater, Kent - 2012
- The Trafford Centre in Trafford, Manchester - July 2012
- Buchanan Street, Glasgow - 2013
- Church Street, Liverpool - October 2013
On Saturday 30 July, the first Forever 21 store opened in continental Europe at Rue Neuve in Brussels: the store is 3,000 sqm. The second Forever 21 store in Belgium opened at Meir in Antwerp on Saturday September 3, 2011 and is 4,000m² which means it's the biggest one in Europe . The first store in Austria opened on March 7, 2011 in Vienna.
Forever 21 has also opened in several places in Asia, such as Bahrain, Beijing and Hong Kong China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and United Arab Emirates.
The first store in Latin America, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico opened on August 1, 2009 in Plaza Las Américas in San Juan, occupying a 38,000 square foot, two-level space. The second store in Puerto Rico opened on March 21, 2012 in Plaza Carolina in Carolina. The third and most-recent store in Puerto Rico opened on May 25, 2013 in Plaza del Caribe in Ponce.
The first store in South America was opened in Bogotá, Colombia on August 24, 2012 in the new mall Titan Plaza, making the first Forever 21 in the region. The company will also open the first and only flagship store of the region in the Zona rosa of Bogota in Early 2013 and in 3 years they will have a total of five shops in the cities of Cali, Medellin, Bucaramanga and Barranquilla.
A store was recently[when?] opened in Mexico City; making Mexico the second country with Forever stores 21 in the region, also having openings in late 2013 in Guadalajara, Playa del Carmen and Morelia. The Chilean company retail store Ripley, negotiates with Forever 21 to bring the country store chain.
The third store in the region was opened on March 16, 2013 in Costa Rica, in the Multiplaza Mall in the city of Escazú, San José, the store sizes 15,000 square foot. The company have plans to open 3 or 4 stores more soon in the country.
There is also a store recently opened in Panama City, Panama on November 7, 2013 at the mall Multiplaza Pacific.
The number of Forever 21 stores in each country (16/11/2013):
In early 2009 Forever 21 opened 11 department store-sized locations in the United States carrying merchandise for men, women, and children, after assuming the leases of 15 Mervyns following the chain's bankruptcy filing.  A 90,000 square feet (8,400 m2) Forever 21 in Manhattan, in Times Square, in the space formerly occupied by the Virgin Megastore, in addition to some adjoining space, was opened June 25, 2010. Later that year, Forever 21 opened a store in Bakersfield, California in the 94,000-square-foot (8,700 m2) spot that was once held by Gottschalks in the Valley Plaza. On April 2, 2011 Forever 21 opened what was then their largest store in the chain at 150,000 square feet (14,000 m2) in Fresno, California at another former Gottschalks location in Fashion Fair Mall. Another Gottschalks conversion in Modesto, California at Vintage Faire Mall, opened in August 2011, comprises 154,000 square feet (14,300 m2) over three levels, the largest store in the chain.
In November 1998, factory workers that produced clothing for the company called for a store boycott until working conditions and payroll improved. The lawsuit was dropped when Forever 21 paid the workers' back wages. The matter was settled out of court and the company agreed to take steps to ensure that its garments were not made in sweatshops. The store later became the subject of the documentary Made in L.A. which focused on three Latina legal immigrant workers who fought for three years to win basic protections from the retailer. In 2004, under pressure from PETA, Forever 21 agreed to stop selling clothing made with animal fur.
Forever 21 has also been accused of infringing on designs from other fashion brands. Recently, designer Diane von Fürstenberg has filed a lawsuit against Forever 21 for duplicating her dress designs. Since that time Furstenberg has settled with the company for undisclosed terms. Singer and designer Gwen Stefani has filed a federal lawsuit against the fashion megachain, claiming the retailer illegally ripped off her Harajuku Lovers designs. Designer Anna Sui has also filed a lawsuit against Forever 21 alleging that Forever 21 sold and offered for sale numerous women's fast fashion clothing items bearing a striking similarity to her products featured at the most recent New York Fashion Week shows.
Forever 21 has also come under fire from the South Central Farmers and other California-based activist groups in a campaign known collectively as Never Forever 21. The criticism is based on Forever 21’s involvement in a proposed deal with developer Ralph Horowitz to build a warehouse and distribution center on the land that was formerly the site of the South Central Farm.
Forever 21 has recently been subject of additional controversy, stemming from an interactive billboard installation in Times Square, in New York. It is alleged that Forever 21's advertising agency, space150 and director Nicholaus Goossen, copied a similar piece - created in 2009 - from London by interactive artist Chris O'Shea. These allegations have led to heated exchanges on the Vimeo page showing the work between Goossen and other users, including well-known members of the interactive and new media art communities. Both space150 and Goossen have since apologized publicly on Vimeo.
On August 7, 2010, a security guard at a XXI store at 6801 Hollywood Blvd assaulted and choked a deaf man, Alejandro Rea, for nearly two minutes because he did not stop at the door when the security alarms went off. Rea, who had previously been convicted twice for shoplifting, was seen on surveillance footage leaving with unpaid items and was arrested after the incident. The security guard was suspended for using excessive force. A pedestrian filmed the altercation and uploaded the video to YouTube, prompting responses from various news outlets.
In January 2012, a class action lawsuit was filed against Forever 21 by its employees stating that Forever 21 systematically failed to pay them for hours worked. Employees of Forever 21 are required to subject their personal belongings to a "Bag Check Policy" to ensure there is no stolen merchandise. As part of this policy employees are required to have their belongings checked while still clocked in, however according to former and present Forever 21 employees the bag check has been done while clocked-out resulting in unpaid time while working.
- "America's Largest Private Companies". Forbes. November 2012.
- "#162 Forever 21". Forbes. November 16, 2011.
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- "Young Women's Clothing Brand Information". Retrieved 2011-12-20.
- Jeff Koyen. "Steal This Look – Will a wave of piracy lawsuits bring down Forever 21?". Radar Magazine. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
- http://www.nysun.com/new-york/evangelism-in-fashion/38174/ - NY Sun: Evangelism in Fashion
- "stores like forever21". Retrieved 2012-03-23.
- "US store Forever 21 opens first store in Birmingham". . 12 November 2010.
- Whitelocks, Sadie (27 July 2011). "Scores of shoppers line the streets as cut-price U.S. brand Forever 21 hits London". .
- "Rihanna for River Island and Forever 21 for the Trafford Centre". Retrieved 13 October 2013.
- "‘American Primark’ Forever 21 set to open a flagship new store in Liverpool". Liverpool Echo. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
- Para agosto apertura de Forever 21 en Plaza Las Américas - Primera Hora.com
- Forever 21 abre en Plaza Carolina - El Nuevo Día.com
- Forever 21 abrirá en Plaza del Caribe en Ponce - Primera Hora.com
- Listos para la apertura de Forever 21 en Ponce - El Nuevo Día.com
- "Ripley negocia con dueños de Forever 21 para traer tienda a Chile".
- Patrick McGeehan (January 14, 2009). "Virgin Megastore in Times Square to Be Replaced by Forever 21". The New York Times.
- EDELHART, COURTENAY (May 29, 2009). "Forever 21 wins bid for Gottschalks spot at Valley Plaza". Bakersfield.com. Retrieved December 25, 2010.
- "Boycott Forever 21!". CorpWatch. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
- "Take Charge: Forever 21 Drops Fur for Good!". PETA2. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
- Danica Lo (March 29, 2007). "Designer Sues – 'Evil' Twin Von Furious At 'Copycat'". New York Post. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
- Style File: Steal this Look. radaronline.com.
- utm_medium=rssfeeds&utm_campaign=rss_topstories E! News – Gwen Hates on Harajuku's Lovers
- Anna Sui Corp. v. Forever 21, Inc. et al. :: Justia News
- Zahniser, David (August 18, 2008). "Turf war over garden lot". The Los Angeles Times.
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QirebzU0wuk[dead link]
- Hines, Alice (January 18, 2012). "Forever 21 Class Action Lawsuit Filed By Employees". Huffington Post.
- Official Forever21 Website
- Official Forever21 Website - Canada
- Official Forever21 Website - Korea
- Official Forever21 Website - Japan
- Official Forever21 Website - China
- Official Forever21 Website - UK
- Official Forever21 Website - EU
- Faster Fashion, Cheaper Chic - New York Times, May 10, 2007
- Fast, Cheap and Under Control: The rise of Forever 21 and Downtown's wholesale economy - New Angeles Monthly, December 2007
- Forever 21 favors 2 Mag Mile stores - Chicago Tribune, April 19, 2008
- Fast-fashion concept fuels Forever 21's expansion - Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2008