Forever 21 backs out of China

American fast-fashion retailer Forever 21 is folding its Chinese business, announcing plans to close its physical locations in the market after revealing that it will close its online Chinese store.


Forever 21

In a notice from the company, Forever 21 explained that "due to strategic adjustments to international operations, all items will be taken offline on April 29."

Just days after, the company has now confirmed with WWD that it will exit the market entirely. Forever 21 had not responded to FashionNetwork.com's interview requests by time of publication.

Founded by Korean-born Do Won Chang and Jin Sook Chang in 1984, Forever 21 opened its first Chinese store in Changshu in 2008, only to close the location the following year. The company then entered back into the market in 2011 with several brick-and-mortar stores in cities like Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Shenzhen, in addition to opening its Chinese online platform.

However, at the end of 2018, the retailer began closing several of its Chinese stores, taking its location numbers down to a total of four, including one in Beijing and three in Shanghai. This recent decision in China follows the company’s exit from the Taiwan market last year and the closing of its flagship in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong in 2017.

Meanwhile, Forever 21 is the latest name on the list of international retailers who have backed out of the China's affordable fashion market, including New Look, Topshop, and Asos.

In April, Amazon announced it plans to close its domestic e-commerce marketplace in China in the face of competition from local e-commerce companies like Alibaba and JD.com.

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