Hip, affordable fashion brands shortly also available in Europe
Today the American Forever 21 Inc. signed the lease for Westbroek 64-66 in Breda, where the retail fashion company is soon to open its European head office. It is where the European market is going to be operated from. The brand targets a young and trendy audience. The Breda head office will also house the on-line sales call center. The arrival of Forever 21 means 70 new jobs for West-Brabant in the near future.
Forever 21 has been operating in the United States since 1984, offering trendy fashion and matching accessories like shoes, bags, belts and cosmetics in rapidly changing collections at attractive prices for a young and trend-savvy audience. Forever 21 is one of the fastest growing retail companies in the world, with an annual turnover topping $ 2.3 bn in 2009.
So far Forever 21 products have only been sold in North America and Asia and international customers had to be referred to mail order via www.forever21.com. So now the total Forever 21 concept, including all its brands, is finally and also veritably brought to this continent via the new European head office in Breda, to compete with fashion store chains like H&M and Zara. On 12th November Forever 21 is to open its first European 6,500m² store in Birmingham, to be followed by one in Dublin the next day. More store openings are to be expected in several European countries in the next few years. Forever 21 is expected to appear to be as big a success as it soon became across North America.
In Breda, Forever21 Inc. found the perfect combination of all those factors that were decisive in choosing to locate its head office in this city. Mr Rob Cuijpers, Administrative Director Europe for Forever 21: “Breda and/or West-Brabant has a good infrastructure to reach our European stores – motorways, trains (HSL), airports (Belgium and the Netherlands), there is an ample supply of highly qualified and multilingually trained potential staff, and it has a good reputation for its logistics. Besides, in this region all kinds of costs like housing compare very favourably with those of the Randstad, for example.”
“The fact that Forever21 prefers to locate its European head office in Breda tells a lot about our city’s appeal and its excellent international business climate”, according to Mr Cees Meeuwis, alderman for Economic Affairs for the City of Breda. “Big national and international players increasingly see West-Brabant, with Breda at its heart, as the perfect region of location to operate the European market.” Mr Meeuwis continues: “as the local authority our purpose is to further improve the preconditions to derive the maximum benefit from this position. The arrival of an international school in Breda is an excellent illustration.”
In finding a suitable location, among other things, Forever21 was supported by the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, the Brabant Development Agency, the regional VN REWIN West-Brabant development company and the municipality of Breda. The housing procedure on the Westbroek in Breda was supervised by De Boer, Storimans & Partners estate agency.
The Forever 21 success story began in April 1984, in an 84m² store in Los Angeles. It was called Fashion 21. Its owner and present CEO, South-Korean Do Won Chang, reinvested profits by opening a new store somewhere every six months, during which the name was changed to Forever 21. Forever 21 is still a private enterprise and is now one of the biggest family-owned fashion companies.
Forever 21 opened its first store in a shopping mall in 1989. The average floor area of a Forever 21 store had by then gone up to more than 1,500 m². Since then Forever 21 has opened speciality stores in all major shopping malls in the US.
Since 1999 Forever 21 has also had the so-called Forever XXI Flagship stores, which display the entire collection including every possible accessory. Cosmetics, jewelry, bags and purses, gloves and scarves, belts, hats and caps, sunglasses, leg fashion. Forever 21 offers all the latest trends.
It partly uses a store-in-store concept, which implies that the store is segmented by a special design and decoration for each style and target group. XXI stores target every consumer who is not necessarily young (21), but who is definitely young at heart and likes to follow the latest fashion and trends. There are now four XXI stores in the US, and one in Canada covering an average floor area of about 7,500 m²
There has been an average of 90 new stores each year since 2008. At this moment Forever 21 has approximately 500 stores in America, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia.
The most recent store opening was an 8,400m² megastore In Times Square New York in June 2010. The full product portfolio of Forever 21 Inc consists of the following brands:
Posted on 08-11-2010