Bankrupt US fast-fashion chain Forever 21 is relaunching its e-commerce site to target customers in Asia, Australia and the Americas.
The troubled retailer has closed more than 100 stores – mostly outside its core US market – since it sought Chapter 11 protection in September. But in a sign it wants to continue to engage with customers in Asia, especially, Forever 21 online has partnered with Global-e to create a new site which will support nearly 100 currencies and more than 150 local and alternative payment methods, along with localised tax collection and duties calculations. The site will feature 21 languages.
Forever 21 president Alex Ok said the company had noted ongoing demand from customers in markets it has plans to exit.
“E-commerce forms a large chunk of the profitable core of our operations and as part of our new global strategy, Forever 21 will leverage Global-e’s technology to offer international customers an outstanding online experience,” he said in a statement.
Matthew Merrilees, Global-e CEO for North America, says the global e-commerce market remains an opportunity for Forever 21 online.
“More than 60 per cent of Australian online shoppers and more than 80 per cent of Canadian online shoppers are now purchasing from international retailers, and we’re also noticing a growing trend towards cross-border e-commerce from a variety of markets across [the Asia-Pacific region],” he said.
A commentator writing for Retail Dive said pressure on the fast-fashion sector due to growing awareness of sustainability and growth in resale and rental services could impact Forever 21’s recovery strategies.
“At least in the US, that is driving a slowdown in overall apparel sales and throws Forever 21’s longer-term prospects into question. That may be one reason why, despite centering its post-bankruptcy operations on the US and Latin America, the fast-fashion retailer doesn’t want to completely let go of its potential abroad.”