Forever 21 preparing job-protection plan for French subsidiary as exit from France looms

Translated by
Nicola Mira
today Dec 7, 2018
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Another retail chain is closing down in France. In early November, FashionNetwork.com reported that Forever 21 had closed down three of its four French branches, operating only the rue de Rivoli flagship store in Paris. The US retailer’s management is planning to leave France altogether on January 24 2019, internal sources informed FashionNetwork.com. Forever 21 has declined to comment for the time being.

Forever 21 entered the French market six years ago with the store at 144 rue de Rivoli, Paris - Vinci

On January 24, Forever 21 will take the final step in its exit from France, closing down the Parisian flagship at 144 rue de Rivoli, the first branch to open in the country in 2012. At the same time, Forever 21 will dismiss all its French employees. According to a source, a job-protection plan is being drawn up by the group's US parent company, currently in charge of the French subsidiary. So far, the employees haven’t received any specific information about the plan.

According to the sources, the store closures which took place during the course of the year led to the employees of the branches in the Aéroville and Forum des Halles shopping centres in Paris (the latter ceased trading on November 30) to be relocated to the rue de Rivoli flagship, while the employees of the Cagnes-sur-Mer store are still being paid their wages, though the store closed down in September. Between 150 and 200 people are reportedly still employed by Forever 21 in France.

The fast-fashion chain founded in 1984 in Los Angeles operates 600 stores worldwide, and is currently concentrating on its expansion in South America and India, to the detriment of the European business. In early 2018, Forever 21 exited Ireland. According to Forbes, the Californian group generates an annual revenue of $3.4 billion (€2.98 billion).

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