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Forever 21 to Open 13 Riley Rose Beauty and Lifestyle Boutiques

The retailer plans to open 10 locations by the end of 2017.

Forever 21 is launching freestanding stores called Riley Rose that will focus on beauty, home goods and accessories.

The company is opening 10 Riley Rose stores in GGP retail shopping centers in 2017, with plans to open three more in 2018. “Forever 21 is always ready to expand into new concepts, and has partnered with GGP to open stores in 13 of their top-tier locations,” said Do Won Chang, chief executive officer of Forever 21. “These new, experiential spaces will be focused on accessories, cosmetics and home goods for the Millennial consumer.”

The statement followed a report from WWD earlier in May that Forever 21 would focus on beauty in a new freestanding store concept called Riley Rose.

“Customers have come to expect lifestyle options at their regional shopping centers,” said Sandeep Mathrani, chief executive officer of GGP. “Millennials have embraced the Forever 21 brand, and GGP is thrilled with the introduction of Riley Rose. We know our shoppers will enjoy it.”

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Inside Forever 21 stores, the business sells a range of beauty products including makeup, skin care, hair care, nails, tools and K-beauty (including sheet masks). Forever 21 has its own private-label line, and also sells brands like E.l.f. Beauty and NYX.

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Market experts have noted that opening freestanding beauty boutiques can make sense for retailers as apparel struggles.

Retail investment analyst Jane Hali of Jane Hali & Associates, for example, said beauty is a category where fast-fashion retailers frequently play, noting that H&M has tested the idea of freestanding beauty concepts before with its East London beauty pop-up.

Many new retail concepts opening up are trying to capitalize on the popularity of the category, Hali noted. “They’re going after the boutique beauty customer, which is thriving,” Hali said. “Ulta Beauty is boutique, Sephora is boutique — where you have service and the salespeople sell many brands. The customer doesn’t want to be only sold at Estée Lauder — they want the best in mascara with the best in eyeliner, and the salespeople will introduce them to brands they might not have heard of.

“I see it as a growth opportunity,” Hali added.

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