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Forever 21 Makes Yet Another Attempt At Breaking Into China

Forever 21 Makes Yet Another Attempt At Breaking Into China

Forever 21 Makes Yet Another Attempt At Breaking Into China

Forever 21 is taking a third crack at growing its business in China with the planned opening of a new store location.

The company re-entered the Chinese market last year, selling exclusively through online platforms Vipshop and Pinduoduo and later opening its online store on Alibaba’s Tmall marketplace. And now, the company is planning to open a new store this month in Taizhou, a third-tier city in Jiangsu province, close to Shanghai.

Forever 21 first entered China in 2008 but exited a year later. It made a second attempt at targeting the country’s fashion market in 2011, with the opening of 11 store locations, which remained operational until 2019, when the company filed for bankruptcy and shut down its stores in China and abroad.

In 2020, the company was acquired by Authentic Brands Group, which signed a licensing agreement with Hong Kong’s Lasonic Electric Xusheng Co. Ltd. and its subsidiary, Xusheng Electrical, to manage Forever 21’s China business, Reuters reported.

The company’s attempt to regain market share in China comes at a time when the fashion industry in the country has reportedly become one of the largest in the world. However, its success will likely be rife with challenges as Western brands have continued to lose ground to local brands such as Anta and Li Ning in recent years.

“It’s clear within the fast fashion space there has been somewhat of a shift towards nimble domestic fashion brands, so if anything, it is harder now for international fast fashion to compete here than in the past,” said China Market Research Group managing director Ben Cavender. “It will be difficult to claw away market share as most Chinese consumers either haven’t heard of the brand or don’t really know what it stands for.”

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