Forever Bankrupt

Katherine Portillo, Photographer

A once popular teen clothing store, Forever 21, has filed for bankruptcy protection in the midst of summer 2019. The store, originally known as Fashion 21, first opened in 1984 and made over 700,000 dollars in their first year of opening. In current day, over 170 stores are closing.


The store was most popular during 2017, grossing more than 3.4 billion just that year. The decline of the store started in 2018. This, showing that the millennial generation were the ones mostly buying from this store.


Forever 21’s CEO has denied the rumor of the stores are filing for bankruptcy, all that has been done is bankruptcy protection, insuring that the stores will not be in danger of going bankrupt. 


As many students of Downey High School are very upset about this news, not everyone will miss this chain too much. Near the end of Forever 21’s lifespan, the store was gravitating more towards the younger generation, especially the middle school crowd.


Sharing her feelings about this news, Kelsie Hernandez, 9, stated “I haven’t shopped there in a long time, I no longer enjoy [the stores] fashion.” Hernandez continued. “Their clothes just got very pre-teen girly”


In 2019, the view of their well-known bright yellow bags has decreased as we see the stores decline. A way to keep the store relevant, Forever 21 began using celebrities to model for clothing. Popular faces, such as Iggy Azalea, Nick Young, and Loren Beech were just a few of the celebrities Forever 21 used to keep young people wearing their fashion.


Emily Repeza, 11, shared her views on the stores foreclosure, “I wasn’t too surprised when I heard they were closing, every time I went in I couldn’t find too much stuff anymore,” Repreza went on. “I will miss this store but its not a major heartbreak.’’


For Generation Z, this store closing may have a huge effect on the way people dress. The store, known for “fast-fashion” (a type of inexpensive clothing produced by mass-market retailers), are in trouble due to the waning of the want for this type of mass produced products. 


Not necessarily upset about the news, Gisel Flores, 10, shared her thoughts. “Everytime I tried to shop there [Forever 21] I never found any clothes, so I haven’t been back in a while to be honest,” Flores stated. 


On a different note, the loss of Forever 21 will be a huge deal, due to the chain having over 600 stores, worldwide. Over ⅙ of the stores will be closed. Due to this, roughly 5,466 employees will be laid off


The news of bankruptcy protection and the store foreclosure did not come as a shock to anyone. Forever 21 is hoping that by closing some stores, they will make back the money they started to lose. The future will tell if Forever 21 will ever make a comeback to being the number one clothing store in America.