Los Angeles-based Forever 21, known for its super trendy, teen-friendly low-cost offerings, is quietly seeking financial assistance to help it through a rocky period caused by a shifting retail environment creating challenges to brick-and-mortar retailers.
According to the Bloomberg, company founder Do Won Chang is seeking funding that would enable him to retain control of the company he founded with his wife, Jin Sook Chang, in 1984. At the same time, the company has met with Apollo Global Management about lining up potential debtor-in-possession financing should it seek bankruptcy protection.
In a statement sent to Bloomberg, a company spokesperson wrote, “Forever 21 is speaking with our lenders in the normal course of business and are in compliance with all of our agreements and continue to operate as usual.”
In April, WWD reported the company would close all operations in China, Forever 21 briefly attempted to expand into China in 2008 without success and then returned in 2011.
A spokeperson commenting on the exit stated, “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.”
Prior to the China store closures, the company operated over 815 stores in 57 countries. Based on the company’s newsroom page, it hasn’t opened a new store since April 2016, around the time the NY Post first reported the company was having trouble paying its bills.