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Forever 21 may pull out of Benelux, following Amsterdam flagship store closure

By Vivian Hendriksz


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London - US fast-fashion retailer Forever 21 may exit the Benelux market for good, as it set to close its flagship store in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The flagship store’s general manager Benjamin Colin confirmed the impending store closure via LinkedIn, adding that more than a hundred employees are set to lose their jobs.

Forever 21 Amsterdam store closure comes four years after the Los Angels-based fashion retailer first opened its flagship store on the popular shopping street, the Kalverstraat. Rumours concerning the store’s potential closure had been circulating among local media outlets for a number of weeks but had yet to be confirmed by Forever 21 and the buildings property owner Vastned. Future plans for the building have yet to be revealed., as neither Forever 21 nor Vastned responded to FashionUnited's inquiries for further details.

The store’s closure could see Forever 21 pulling out of the Benelux market for good. Following Forever 21’s closure in Amsterdam, the US fashion retailer would operate one store in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Forever 21 previously closed down its store in Antwerp, Belgium, citing ‘high rental prices’ as one of the main reasons of its departure in the middle of 2016, and chose not to reopen its store in Brussels following a devastating fire.

It would not be the first time Forever 21 closes a number of its international stores. In 2016 Forever 21 reassessed its retail presence in the UK after struggling to capture British shoppers attention and shut down stores in London, Manchester, Kent, Dublin, and Glasgow. The US retailer also shut down two of its main stores in Los Angeles in spring 2016, to help pay back debt of more than 150 million US dollars to Wells Fargo and TPG Capital. In addition, Forever 21 is also reevaluating the size of its store portfolio in India. Aditya Birla Fashion Retail (ABFRL), Forever 21 store franchise partner in India previously shut one of Forever 21’s stores in Mumbai and downsized one of its stores in Delhi.

At the same time, Forever 21 has been expanding the retail footprint of its budget concept store F21 RED across the US, opening more than 40 new locations during 2017. ”F21 RED expansion represents an important and exciting opportunity for our growth plan, and will allow us to bring a wide variety of product at competitive prices to new regional areas for our increasing customer base," said Linda Chang, VP of merchandising at Forever 21 in a statement.

Photo: Forever 21 Amsterdam, FashionUnited

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