LONDON — Third time’s a charm: Fast-fashion brand Forever 21 is pressing reboot again in China.
The brand first attempted to enter the market in 2008 but left shortly afterward. It tried again in 2011 but had to leave the market in April 2019 due to stiff competition from local players.
At that time, the brand 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.”
This time, the brand went with a licensing model, as it has authorized Lasonic Limited Xusheng Co. Ltd. and its subsidiary, Xusheng Electrical (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd., to manage its operation within the Chinese market, according to an announcement published on Forever 21’s WeChat account.
The brand also said it has reentered major e-commerce platforms like Vip.com and Pinduoduo, and is planning to open a flagship on Alibaba’s Tmall, and physical stores across major cities in China.
The brand was bought out of bankruptcy by Simon Property Group, Authentic Brands Group and Brookfield Property Partners for $81 million in February 2020. Its international business is being handled by licensing specialist ABG.
Daniel Kulle, a former H&M executive, was named chief executive officer at Forever 21 to steer the company out of bankruptcy, and through the coronavirus crisis. He told WWD earlier that the new Forever 21 comes with a more modern approach to customers.
Lasonic Limited is a Hong Kong-based electrical, electronics and lighting products manufacturer. It also does business in intellectual property licensing, event planning and merchandising.
In addition to Forever 21, Lasonic manages the licensing business of IPs like emoji, Hello Kitty, Little Twin Stars, Spongebob and Pepsi.