NEW YORK — Forever 21 will open a 100,000-square-foot store at 1540 Broadway in Times Square in a location previously occupied by Tower Records. A spokeswoman for the trendy apparel chain confirmed the location and store size, but could not provide an opening date.

This story first appeared in the November 10, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The company has made no secret of its desire to build larger stores. At an industry event in June, Christopher Lee, senior vice president of Forever 21, said the company will open 90,000-square-foot units in certain locations, making it a potential anchor in shopping malls.

Forever 21, which had sales of $1.3 billion in 2007, is projected to do $1.8 billion in sales this year.

“Our vision has always been to get a bigger box,” said Lee. The average Forever 21 store size is about 40,000 square feet. Forever XXI stores are larger than classic Forever 21 shops, and offer men’s and women’s fashions, as well as lingerie, footwear, cosmetic items and other accessories. Most of the retailer’s 400-plus stores are in malls.

Apparel retailers have been planting stakes in Times Square.

American Eagle Outfitters will occupy a prominent location on the northwest corner of Broadway and 46th Street. The Pittsburgh, Pa.-based retailer is building a three-level 26,500-square-foot unit with an underground level of selling space.

Levi Strauss & Co. in May unveiled a 6,500-square-foot store that houses a range of jeans, New York-themed apparel, T-shirts and tops.

Rents on Broadway and Seventh Avenue between 42nd and 47th Streets were $809 per square foot, according to the Real Estate Board of New York. About 300,000 people pass through the Times Square area on an average weekday.

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