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Is Forever 21 Downsizing?

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Forever 21

Forever 21 may have topped the most recent Teen Vogue/Goldman Sachs Brand Affinity Index as the store that resonates most with Millennial-aged women, but the cheap and trendy retailer appears to be scaling back its U.S. store base.

Local media outlets have reported the upcoming closure of at least three Forever 21 stores—two of which are twice the size of the retailer’s average 38,000-square-foot locations.

The fast-fashion chain will shutter its 80,000-square-foot store at Hanford Mall in Hanford, California, on Apr. 1, nearly seven years after it first opened. A notice filed with the State of California disclosed that roughly 51 workers would lose their jobs as a result of the closure, but a story in The Sentinel said the store employed up to 130 people.

Another Golden State store will also close its doors that day. Nearly 60 employees will be out of work when Yuba City’s 73,000-square-foot location shuts after seven years.

Across the country in Jacksonville, Florida, Forever 21 will close a smaller, 14,000-square-foot store at the St. Johns Town Center shopping mall on Mar. 20, cutting around 63 jobs. That location opened in July 2010.

News of the closures came after reports last August that the family-owned retailer, founded in 1984, was in talks with Wells Fargo & Co. and TPG Capital about a $150 million loan. Forbes said it brings in around $4.4 billion in sales each year from its 720 locations worldwide—almost 500 of which are in the U.S.—but sources have said it’s struggled to stock its giant stores with the right merchandise of late and sales have suffered as a result. In fact, in September it shuttered a 36,000-square-foot store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan six months after it opened.

But while the company is closing its cavernous Forever 21 locations, it appears to be pushing ahead with its F21 Red concept. Since launching in the first quarter of 2014, the cheaper diffusion chain has grown to more than 20 stores in the U.S., including a huge 40,000-square-foot outpost in Brooklyn.

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