Monday, September 30, 2019

Forever 21 files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse

I wrote that Forever 21 was facing bankruptcy just three weeks ago.  Today, Forever 21 declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  WXYZ reported on this tale of the Retail Apocalypse on location from the Oakland Mall in Troy, Michigan.

The chain said it will file a motion to close up to 178 of its more than 800 stores, though it said in a letter to customers that "the decisions as to which domestic stores will be closing are ongoing, pending the outcome of continued conversations with landlords."
WXYZ excels at person on the street interviews, which in this case show that the regular shoppers had little to no idea that one of their favorite stores was in trouble.  At least they seem as concerned about the employees as they do about losing their place to go for "fast fashion."

As WXYZ mentioned, Forever 21 is closing down operations in 40 countries including Canada and Japan.  CBC News examined this angle in Forever 21 files for bankruptcy in U.S., to cease operations in Canada.

Fashion retailer Forever 21 has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. to restructure. The company said it plans to discontinue operations at most of its international locations, including Canada.
The customers outside of the Oakland Mall location may worry about their local store closing.  Forever 21's customers in Canada know their store will close.

Of course, if there are losers, like Forever 21, there will be winners, which CNBC examined in Here are the winners and losers of the retail apocalypse.

CNBC's Courtney Reagan and Lauren Thomas, retail reporter, join the "Power Lunch" team to discuss brick-and-mortar stores and where millennials and gen-Z are shopping.
The panel did a good job of at least touching on all the issues and major players in less than three minutes, although I noticed that the host quickly diverted the discussion away from sustainability when it was brought up.  Instead, she was more interested in the possible winning companies to invest in than a major cause of Forever 21 failing.  Things that make me say "hmm."

I promise to keep following this story as it develops.  In the meantime, stay tuned for the first entry of October, which begins in a few hours.

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