LOS ANGELES — Fast-Fashion retailer Forever 21 today opened the doors to its new F21 Red store at Azalea Shopping Center in South Gate, Calif., ushering in a throng of shoppers — some of whom had been in line since 6 a.m.
The 18,000-square-foot store, located about 20 miles south of Los Angeles is a new concept for the retailer, which is hoping to target a value-driven consumer with its deeper selection of core items at even lower price points than it is known for providing.
The F21 Red store carries select pieces of Forever 21 apparel and accessories along with items from the retailer’s other brands, including 21MEN, Forever 21+, Forever 21 Girls, the Love & Beauty cosmetics line and the brand’s lingerie and shoe collections.
Shoppers zeroed in on sharply discounted items, such as camisoles for $1.80, tank tops at $3.80, denim starting at $7.80 and bikinis for $4.80. And by the first half hour of opening, the dressing room line snaked almost to the back of the store.
Forever 21 executives are banking on the draw of a steep discount and greater selection of product to fuel this new concept--the latest addition for the retailer, which operates over 600 stores in the United States, and has operations in Canada, China, Europe, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Mexico, Philippines, South America and United Kingdom.
“What we were trying to do is to really look for an expression to the brand that celebrated value as opposed to just fashion,” said Jeffrey Gomez, vice president of retail for North America. “This is an opportunity to go where the customer is very value oriented and differentiate this store from the other Forever 21 stores. We give her a lot more product depth within specific styles as opposed to giving so much breadth and a small smattering of product.”
One such value-focused customer is Maricela Juarez of South Gate, who was the first customer in line and had queued up with her sister and other family members since 6 a.m. “I found out about it on Facebook,” said Juarez, who confessed that she did not know what the concept was about, but was motivated by the $10 gift card for the first 100 customers. “It’s the first Red store and they’re giving me the gift card.”
Among F21 Red’s neighbors at the recently opened Azalea Shopping Center in the working-class neighborhood of South Gate are Wal-Mart, Ross, Michaels and Ulta beauty. Many storefronts have not yet been filled at the outdoor shopping center, with palm trees still tied up and in their planters.
“We have a very strong consumer base here and we know that the consumer is very value oriented in this market,” said Gomez. “A regular Forever 21 works particularly well in the mall environment, but these outdoor centers are particularly well suited for something that’s a little differentiated.”
Gomez said the brand would be taking a wait-and-see approach before rolling out additional locations. “We’re just going to take it as it comes. We want to see what the customer response is going to be and what in particular works for us, and we’ll decide what it looks for after that.”
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews