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Authentic Brands Group acquires Forever 21

Authentic Brands Group (ABG), which owns Juicy Couture, Barneys and Tretorn, and two US landlords have purchased Forever 21 for just over $81m (£63m). 

ABG and real estate company Simon Property Group will each own 37.5%, and commercial property firm Brookfield Property Partners will own 25% of the intellectual property and operations at the fast fashion business.

It comes after Damian Webb and Allan Kelly of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP were appointed as joint administrators of Forever 21 UK Ltd on 30 September, after the parent company in the US filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

It is expected that Forever 21 stores will continue to operate across the US and international territories. The brand’s new owners will also oversee the continued operation of its headquarters in Los Angeles and maintain its ecommerce business.

Forever 21 is working with various landlords to continue store operations in key regions. The retailer 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 ownership group will work with existing and new partners to expand Forever 21 across key territories, including South America, Western and Eastern Europe, China, South east Asia, Middle East, and India.

An ABG spokeswoman said it remains unclear how many stores will remain open, but the intention is to maintain as many as possible. She said most stores outside of the US will be converted from an owned model to a licensing model, so the new ownership group is looking for operating partners to maintain the current stores.

The company said there is also a “very strong opportunity” to open new stores in the UK and other territories. 

ABG said it will leverage its marketing expertise and global network of partners to ”inject new life” into the brand, 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 targeted digital campaigns, and influential collaborations.

“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.”





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