Forever 21 Files for Bankruptcy

A Forever 21 store in a mall.
Photo courtesy of:


A Forever 21 store in a mall. Photo courtesy of:

Jasmine Castro, Section Editor

On Sunday, the fast fashion clothing store, Forever 21, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and has plans to close nearly 200 stores worldwide.

“I was pretty shocked because I do shop there and I know a lot of people shop [at Forever 21], so I didn’t think that they would go bankrupt,” said Dominic Carbajal (11).

Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy means that Forever 21 plans to do a reorganization of their business in order to keep it going, while they pay back their creditors over time. Forever 21 plans to close almost all of their locations in Europe and Asia, but the company says they intend to continue business as usual in the United States, Mexico, and Latin America. Though sources have said Forever 21 locations, such as those at Anaheim Plaza and Tustin Marketplace, have a possibility of closing by the end of the year. 

Mr. Tagaloa (football coach and history and psychology teacher) said, “Forever 21 has been one of those stores that my wife has shopped at since I can remember. And now with them carrying kids clothes, my daughter shops there. I know that my wife and my daughter would be upset if they closed down the store around here [because] they shop there frequently.”

Forever 21 has fallen from their peak performance in 2015 with the competition from other retailers, like H&M, who have pulled in more customers. They have gone from employing 43,000 in 2016 to currently only employing 32,800 in 2019.  This can be linked to their revenue going down from $4.4 billion in 2016 to $3.3 billion this year. 

“Although this billion-dollar company was very successful in targeting teenagers, the quality may have been [what] caused Forever 21 to temporarily have less retail than other companies,” said Jessica Cruz (12).

The retail company’s downfall seems to have been partly caused by its aggressive expansion during the retail industries shift to online shopping, which negatively affected their sales. 

This aggression in expansion can be seen from the quick transition from having locations in seven countries turn into forty-seven in less than six years. 

History teacher Mrs. Stevens said, “I’m very shocked that Forever 21 is going bankrupt. It’s been around since I was a teenager and I always thought it was a thriving, successful business. But I guess in the era of Amazon, you’re seeing so many places close now, and it’s kinda sad.”