The bidding for Mervyns' 149 remaining stores continues.
The bankrupt Hayward, Calif.- based retailer has held preliminary negotiations with several parties about its locations, credit sources told WWD, and hopes to keep them in operation with the Mervyns nameplate intact. All of the remaining stores are leased.
Earlier this week, reports surfaced on the West Coast that Los Angeles-based Forever 21 had bid on the chain and hoped to use some of the real estate for expansion into a larger footprint. However, sources said the Forever 21 offer came about a month ago and was rejected. It wasn’t immediately known whether the company remained interested in Mervyns. Calls to Forever 21 weren’t returned by press time and a spokesman for Mervyns declined to comment on the matter.
Forever 21, which had revenues of $1.3 billion in 2007, currently has more than 400 stores. The company operates stores under the Forever 21, Forever XXI, For Love 21 and Gadzooks nameplates.
Although 15,000-square-foot stores were once the norm for the teen retailer, many, like the two-story flagship opened in Pasadena, Calif., in 2006, are now 40,000 square feet. The company’s Forever XXI stores, which cater to a broader demographic range than the teen-focused Forever 21 shops, average 24,000 square feet. The bulk of its stores are in malls.
The Mervyns’ locations have a footprint of about 75,000 to 80,000 square feet and most are freestanding.
Bankruptcy court records revealed no information about bids for Mervyns or its real estate. The retailer has the exclusive right to file a reorganization plan for up to 90 days after its Chapter 11 filing, which occurred on July 28, although that exclusivity period could be extended by the retailer’s creditors through the holiday season or longer.
Mervyns was acquired by a consortium including Sun Capital Partners Inc., Cerberus Capital Management LP and Lubert-Adler/ Klaff from Target Corp. for $1.2 billion in September 2004. Cerberus since has sold its stake in the retail operation, although it retains an interest in the retailer’s real estate holdings. Forever 21 expressed an interest in acquiring the chain when it was put on the block by Target Corp. four years ago, according to published reports.
Mervyns said previously that it would shutter 26 of its 175 stores.
Whether Forever 21 continues to pursue Mervyns, the retailer has made it clear that it is looking to open more and bigger stores.
In June, Christopher Lee, senior vice president of the company, told a Fashion Group International panel discussion the firm plans to build larger stores and within four years expects to be in a position to be a mall anchor as it evolves from a teenfocused business into one devoted to a youth-lifestyle retail concept.
He said the company is moving toward a 90,000-square-foot model in select locations, making it a potential anchor. With the recent bankruptcies of Mervyns, Boscov’s and Steve & Barry’s, and with other retailers either putting the brakes on expansion or, as with Macy’s Inc. since its acquisition of May Department Stores Co., seeking to close stores, Forever 21 would likely find many mall operators anxious to be its landlord.
Forever 21 also is eyeing stores in South Korea, possible acquisitions in the U.K. and going into Russia on its own, rather than with a joint venture partner, Lee said in June.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)