It’s a new day, hopefully, for Forever 21.
The sale of the bankrupt fast-fashion retailer to brand management and licensing firm Authentic Brands Group, Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners for $81.1 million has been finalized. Under the terms of the deal, ABG and Simon will each own 37.5% and Brookfield will own 25% of Forever 21’s intellectual property and operating businesses. (The real purchase price of the deal is arguably much higher — around $300 million — when factoring in the liabilities that the buyers had agreed to assume, reported WWD.)
The new owners will maintain Forever 21’s headquarters in Los Angeles, as well as its e-commerce business. According to a report by Bloomberg, the owners also plan to keep most of the chain’s 448 U.S. stores open under the leadership of a new CEO that will be announced when the company emerges from Chapter 11.
Forever 21 will convert its current, owned-store operations in Central America, South America, Mexico, the Philippines, and the Caribbean to a licensed partnership model. The new owners also plan to work with existing and new partners to expand Forever 21 across key territories, including South America, Western and Eastern Europe, China, Southeast Asia, Middle East, and India.
“Forever 21 is a powerful retail brand with incredible consumer reach and a wealth of untapped potential,” said Jamie Salter, founder, chairman, and CEO of ABG. “We’re looking forward to working with the F21 team and our global partners. Together, we’ll revitalize the brand’s core business and connect with audiences around the world through new product offerings and experiences.”
ABG, which recently purchased the intellectual assets of Barneys New York, said it will leverage its marketing expertise and global network of partners to inject new life into Forever 21, with an emphasis on trend-conscious design, speed to market, and moving towards a more sustainable supply chain. The strategy will focus on engaging Gen Z audiences by introducing refreshed creative, targeted digital campaigns, and influential collaborations. ABC manages a large portfolio of apparel and fashion brands, ranging from Juicy Couture and Vince Camuto to Jones New York and Nautica.