Forever 21’s financial woes have entered a new chapter. On Sunday, the fast fashion retailer issued a letter to its customers announcing that the company would officially file for bankruptcy. Reports that the brand would file began in late August when rumors loomed that the company was contemplating a debtor-in-possession loan.
Forever 21 did end up filing for Chapter 11, which is reportedly less extreme than a Chapter 7 filing and will allow business operations to resume while the company strategizes. “This does NOT mean that we are going out of business – on the contrary, filing for bankruptcy protection is a deliberate and decisive step to put us on a successful track for the future,” the brand’s letter to consumers read.
However, per The New York Times, the bankruptcy will end operations in 40 countries, including Canada and Japan. It will also shutter 178 US stores and 350 globally. In documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court and obtained by NBC News, Forever 21 Inc. claimed it had liabilities between $1 billion and $10 billion owed to more than 100,000 creditors.
The latest hurdle for Forever 21 comes after a rocky 2019 for the retailer. At the start of September, Ariana Grande reportedly sued the company for $10 million for using her name, likeness, and lyrics from “7 Rings” to promote merchandise. In July, controversy arose when customers who ordered plus-size clothing online were sent diet bars with their orders.
Despite the business’s missteps, its company letter ensures “you will not see any changes in our stores, gift cards will continue to be accepted, and our policies, including returns and exchanges, remain the same.” On their social channels it remains business as usual, with their fall fashion on full display.