LONDON — Following the closure of its e-commerce in China, reported on Thursday, American fast-fashion retailer Forever 21 confirmed exclusively to WWD that it has decided to exit the market entirely on Friday.
A spokesman from the company said, “Forever 21 is constantly evaluating our global portfolio of stores and made the decision to close our operations in the China market after careful consideration of shifts in consumer demands and the long-term profitability of these operations.”
The retailer, founded by Korean-born Do Won Chang and Jin Sook Chang in 1984, entered the Chinese market in 2008 but left shortly after. It reentered in 2011 and opened its online store and multiple brick-and-mortar stores.
Since the end of last year, however, the company has been closing stores in Tianjin, Hangzhou, Beijing, Chongqing and Xi’an, leaving four surviving units in China — three in Shanghai and one in Beijing — to be closed in the near future.
Local press reported that Forever 21’s Shanghai stores are discounting heavily. “Seventy-five-percent off and buy one, get one free,” signs in the store advertised. Its Shenzhen store is due to close on April 30 as well.
The company exited the Taiwan market last March and closed its six-floor flagship in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong in 2017.
Forever 21 will join the likes of New Look, Topshop and Asos to lose the battle in China’s affordable fashion market, as shopping platforms such as Taobao and Pinduoduo offer a great variety of items at an even lower price point. Amazon also recently closed its online store in China amid stiff competition from the likes of Alibaba.