In 1978, Cliff Ensley ’69, ’70, G’71 had an idea to start his own business and just $2,500 to do it. He was used to taking on challenges—there was no stopping him. Growing up, he struggled with a learning disability—at…
Forever 21: Too Many Stores, Too Much Debt and Too Few Customers
Forever 21 has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and plans to close up to 178 U.S. stores.
Ray Wimer is an assistant professor of retail practice at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management.
“The business factors that contributed to this latest news for Forever 21 were its over-expansion too quickly, and the company took on too much debt in order to fund the expansion.
“There are also consumer factors that likely played a part. Customers are pushing more for transparency in the supply chain and sustainability of the products they buy. They also tend to lean more toward renting, re-using or sharing clothes. Consumers are also moving more to online shopping and away from the shopping mall in general.
“The result was declining revenues with increasing debt payments that put them into the situation to file for Chapter 11.”
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