Forever 21 is returning to China, following the brand’s high-profile exit from the country in 2019, according to an announcement posted Wednesday evening on its official Weibo account.
“The road to return is full of thorns,” the post read in part, before saying that the fast fashion company’s US headquarters has authorised Lasonic Limited Xusheng Co. Ltd and its subsidiary, Xusheng Electrical (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd to be responsible for Forever 21′s business in China.
The brand is already available on Chinese e-commerce platforms Vipshop and Pinduoduo, BoF confirmed, and, according to its announcement on Weibo, further e-commerce rollouts as well as new physical retail stores across the country are also in the works.
This marks the third time Forever 21 is making a run at the China market, after opening a store in Changshu back in 2008, which closed a year later, the brand returned in 2011, and operated 11 stores around China by the time it announced its withdrawal in 2019.
Forever 21′s failure in China has been largely attributed to its slow approach to expansion and a digital marketing strategy that left it less visible to young consumers than its high street competitors. At the same time, a retail strategy focussed on huge stores in China’s most expensive shopping streets required a major capital investment that proved difficult to recoup.
Authentic Brands Group LLC, the owner of brands such as Brooks Brothers, Juicy Couture and Forever 21, filed for a US initial public offering following a year that saw strong earnings growth.