Forever 21 Inc .the low-priced fashion retailer, plans to expand and transform itself into a department store from a clothing boutique. The Los Angeles based company which is privately held is taking advantage of the recession by snapping up real estate vacated by brands such as Mervyns LLC chain who have gone bankrupt. Many other prime locations have become available at reasonable prices as companies are forced to downsize or close down completely because of dwindling sales.
The high-fashion-imitating party dresses and tank tops offered by Forever 21 attracts the teens in hordes. But their move into the 90,000 sq feet spot near 46th and Broadway is forcing them into newer categories like menswear and children’s clothing which is new for them and their hold on the consumer of this segment is uncertain to say the least.
The company is privately owned by Don Chang , a Korean immigrant who came to the US nearly three decades ago. In 1984 Mr. Chang had opened his first store on Figueroa Street in Los Angeles. It was a 900 sq feet boutique named Fashion 21. The Changs were able to grow the business pretty fast and within five years they expanded to a fleet of 11 stores of an average size of 5,000 sq feet. They also changed the name to Forever 21. The Changs are now planning a 120,000 sq feet store in Las Vegas to be opened later this year.