Between struggling to keep teen shoppers interested and attracting the ire of Ariana Grande, Forever 21 has had a rough couple of years. So rough, in fact, that The Wall Street Journal is reporting that it will file for bankruptcy as soon as Sunday. A spokesperson for the chain told the Times that it was “inaccurate” that the filing was going to be on Sunday, but didn’t elaborate beyond that.
The chain, which traffics in $10 crop tops and logo tees (who doesn’t want to wear a shirt that says “There’s No Way You Woke Up Like That?”), has been in restructuring talks for months. As part of the bankruptcy filing — if it goes through — it could close 100 of its 800 stores. Most of its stores are in the U.S. A spokesperson said in a statement, “It is our intention to continue to operate the vast majority of U.S. stores, as well as a smaller amount of international stores.”
Forever 21 has struggled to stay relevant in a rapidly changing retail climate. Its competitors are no longer just mall brands like Zara and H&M, but superfast e-commerce sites like Fashion Nova, which can churn out knockoffs of whatever Kim Kardashian West posts on Instagram in days and doesn’t have to pay storefront rents. Rents that, coincidentally, contributed to Barneys New York’s own Chapter 11. Combine that with falling foot traffic to malls, and it’s clear that although Forever 21 may be fast fashion, it’s not quite fast enough to keep up.