Forever 21 Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Declares Decisive Step to a Successful Track in the Future


Forever 21, a Los Angeles-based fast fashion retailer for teen shoppers, announced on September 29, 2019 that the privately-held company was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and that the company was ceasing operations in 40 countries. Forever 21 will be closing most of its international stores and 178 of its U.S. stores.

Forever 21 was founded in 1984 as a so-called fast fashion store for bringing products quickly from the fashion modeling catwalk to the consumer. Unfortunately for fast fashion stores, many consumers also have learned that fast fashion styles often quickly end up in the garbage.

Slow fashion, aka the conscious fashion movement, has gained popularity to avoid financially supporting the negative factors associated with fast fashion, including environmental pollution from manufacturing techniques, the earth-unfriendly waste material of synthetic fabrics, dangerous working conditions for factory workers, and shoddy workmanship.

Forever 21 was founded in 1984 in Los Angeles by an immigrant husband and wife team, Do Won and Jin Sook Chang, who started with a 900-square-foot apparel store known as Fashion 21. They started the store with $11,000 in savings and in 2016 were worth $3 billion.

On September 29, 2019, Forever 21 posted a letter to customers about the bankruptcy on their official website, clarifying that anyone with questions about the warranties, products or rewards can contact the Customer Service Department at 1-888-494-3837.

A store closing list was not initially provided by Forever 21, but a recommendation on the website suggested customers check the FIND A STORE link for updates. Kildeer Village Square, Woodfield Mall, Northbrook Court, Fashion Outlet of Chicago, and Old Orchard all remained on the store locator list as of Monday morning, September 30, 2019.



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Forever 21 Letter to Customers 9.29.2019

Today, Forever 21, Inc. voluntarily filed for bankruptcy protection under chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Essentially this allows Forever 21 to continue to operate its stores as usual, while the Company takes positive steps to reorganize the business so we can return to profitability and refocus on delivering incredible styles and fashion you love for many years to come. This does NOT mean that we are going out of business – on the contrary, filing for bankruptcy protection is a deliberate and decisive step to put us on a successful track for the future.

Most importantly, our stores are open and it will continue to feel like a normal day – you will not see any changes in our stores, gift cards will continue to be accepted, and our policies, including returns and exchanges, remain the same.

As part of our filing, we have requested approval to close a number of stores across the U.S. The decisions as to which domestic stores will be closing are ongoing, pending the outcome of continued conversations with landlords. We do however expect a significant number of these stores will remain open and operate as usual, and we do not expect to exit any major markets in the U.S. Please visit our store locator to find the most up to date store list, and of course, you can always find all of your favorite merchandise at

We are confident this is the right path for the long-term health of our business. Once we complete a reorganization, Forever 21 will be a stronger, more viable company that is better positioned to prosper for years to come. We look forward to continuing to provide you with the great service and curated assortment of merchandise that you expect from us.

For questions about products, warranties, or rewards, please continue to contact our Customer Service Department at 1-888-494-3837. If you have questions regarding the Company’s restructuring process, they can visit our restructuring website at … or call us at 1-877-510-9565.

We truly appreciate your continued support and loyalty. We hope to see you again soon!

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