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Forever 21 nears Bullring deal as property costs mount

Forever 21 is nearing a conclusion on its two-year mission to downsize its 53,000 sq ft store at Birmingham’s Bullring centre, with River Island understood to be favourite to take on around half the unit’s space.

It is thought that the young fashion chain owned by US-based Forever 21 Inc is looking to reduce its three-storey store to around 30,000 sq ft, with one source saying the business had identified that size as “optimum”.

Sources said River Island was favourite to take on the space and that discussions were expected to conclude within “weeks, possibly into months”. River Island currently has a store adjacent to Forever 21 on the upper level.

Hammerson, which owns the Bullring, declined to comment and no one from River Island or Forever 21 were available as Drapers went to press.

The news follows Drapersonline. com’s report this week, which revealed that Forever 21 UK reported a loss of £66.5m for the year to February 28, 2013, as a result of property-related charges. The loss represents a significant increase on its £7.6m loss sustained the previous year.

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