Forever 21 Targets E-Commerce with Relaunched Stores

After declaring bankruptcy four months ago, the fashion retailer is focusing on international markets to regain e-commerce dominance.

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Need to Know

  • Fashion giant Forever 21 is relaunching its e-commerce platform to serve consumers in Canada, Asia, the Asia-Pacific region, and Latin America.
  • The relaunch comes after the US retailer announced in late 2019 that it was filing for bankruptcy. The retailer closed 178 U.S and all of its 44 Canadain locations and stated it would focus on growing in Latin America and the US.
  • The relaunched international online store comes with a partnership featuring e-commerce platform Global-e.
  • Forever 21’s new site will support more than 95 currencies, over 150 local and alternative payment methods, and will allow consumers to checkout and make returns in 21 different languages.

Analysis

Following its September 2019 bankruptcy announcement and subsequent store 220+ store closings, Forever 21’s re-entry into international markets signals a shift in consumer tastes. 

Through its partnership with e-commerce specialist Global-e, consumers in Canada, Asia, and Latin America will be able to experience the brand’s enhanced online shopping experience, adjusted to local market preferences and shopper characteristics.  The relaunched site will support over 95 currencies and over 150 payment methods, and checkouts in 21 languages. 

In a statement Forever 21 President Alex Ok said, “E-commerce forms a large chunk of the profitable core of our operations and as part of our new global strategy, Forever 21 will leverage Global-e’s technology to offer international customers an outstanding online experience.” Adding, “we recognized that an advanced global online shopping experience is a fundamental part of our future growth.” 

According to bankruptcy court filings, Forever 21’s online sales accounted for only 16% of its $3.3 billion reported revenue. Pulling brick-and-mortars out of weaker markets like Canada and focusing on its online presence internationally is a move that should place the brand in a better position to compete with large online fast-fashion retailers such as Fashion Nova. 

The retailer has not attached a roll-out date to its new e-commerce experience. Currently, over 80% of Canadian online shoppers purchase from international retailers, and other markets also purchase heavily from international retailers. The sooner Forever 21 reaches these markets again, the more it can increase its overall chunk of e-commerce sales.

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