FASHION NEWS: FOREVER 21 MAYBE NOT SO “FOREVER”
On the heels of a recent post where we reported a copyright infringement lawsuit between millennial retail titans H&M and Forever 21, the survival of one of these retailers seems to be in question. Unlike its competitors (H&M, Zara, and Topshop to name a few), Forever 21 does not show financials, and has been dubbed the sinking ship of fast fashion retailers.
The ploy behind these fast fashion retailers is to roll out runway inspired looks quickly and efficiently with budget friendly price tags for cash strapped consumers. Easier said than done! Forever 21 is no stranger to copyright lawsuits and has made headlines lately for various infractions (copyright infringement, trade dress infringement, unfair competition) costing the company major bucks.
A recent article released by the Wall Street Journal reported that Forever 21 was in talks to secure a $150 million loan to aid in paying the leases on its retail stores. WSJ writes “Forever 21, which discloses little about its finances, has predicted that sales would rise 10% this year to $4.7 billion. But people familiar with the company say its sales and profit have tapered off after years of strong growth.”
A continued carelessness and habit for copying other retailers’ designs could attribute to Forever 21’s downfall. Aside from the many copyright issues, there are other expenses that have burdened the retailer. The New Yorker reported that the Asian Pacific American Legal Center sued Forever 21 for supposedly forcing employees to work up to 12 hours each day for less than minimum wage in filthy conditions. A 2008 documentary Made in LA won an Emmy for its accurate portrayal of three immigrants who struggled for labor rights while working for the retailer. Furthermore, a few years ago, the brand came head to head with class action lawsuit for allegedly denying employees breaks for meals for forcing them to work unpaid.
Is Forever 21 likely to fall from the fast fashion chain due to multiple impending lawsuits (time and time again), or will the retailer shape up and re-position itself as one of the frontrunners for affordable fashion?by