What to Know
- Forever 21 releases the list of the stores it is planning to close in bankruptcy proceedings
- There is only one location on the list belonging to Simon Property Group, which is also one of Forever 21′s top unsecured creditors
Forever 21 on Tuesday released a list of the nearly 180 locations it could potentially close as part of its bankruptcy proceedings.
When the apparel retailer filed for bankruptcy on Sunday evening, it said it had 549 stores in the U.S. and 251 locations internationally. The planned closures represent about a third of Forever 21′s entire fleet of stores in the U.S.
A company spokesperson said the restructuring “will focus on maximizing the value of our U.S. footprint and shuttering certain international locations.”
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The list, filed in court documents, said the company doesn’t necessarily expect to close all of these locations, as talks with landlords are still ongoing to try to renegotiate leases and rents. But the 178 stores listed in this map are some of Forever 21′s most unprofitable, and it expects the stores will close if no further deals are reached. (See the full list below.)
If deals are reached, the company says it will remove the sites from its current store closure list and file a new list.
“We do ... expect a significant number of these stores will remain open and operate as usual, and we do not expect to exit any major markets in the U.S.,” a Forever 21 spokesperson said.
Liquidation sales are expected to be completed by the end of this year at the sites selected to be vacated. The company said it expects the inventory tied up at these stores is about $80 million.
CNBC reported on Monday how much the Forever 21 closures could impact U.S. mall owners. For many publicly traded mall owners, Forever 21 has been a top tenant. And in some instances, Forever 21 stores span more than 100,000 square feet, as the apparel retailer had a strategy of acquiring vacant department store space at one point to try to scale.
The store closure list released on Tuesday includes the Forever 21 store at the World Trade Center, owned by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, in New York. It has 18 locations owned by Westfield in total.
There are 16 Macerich locations on the list.
The list has 10 locations owned by Taubman, including its store at Beverly Center in Los Angeles. It has nine Tanger locations, which are in outlet centers, and eight from Washington Prime Group. It has seven CBL locations and six Pennsylvania REIT locations.
None of these landlords were immediately available to respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.
Notably with only one location on this list is Simon Property Group, the largest mall owner in the U.S. and also one of Forever 21′s biggest unsecured creditors, along with Brookfield Retail Partners. There are eight Brookfield stores on the list.
Also on the store closure list are Forever 21′s stores in SoHo in New York and at the Mall of America.
“It’s common practice for retailers in Chapter 11 to have a large pool of stores to close, but to then use that list to negotiate lower rents,” said Bill Read, executive vice president of leasing, acquisitions and business development at Birmingham, Alabama-based Retail Specialists. “If they don’t get help, they close. Today’s landlords are fairly sophisticated and know how to play this game. ... They have had a lot of practice lately.”
Here is the list of Forever 21 stores set to close:
— CNBC’s Lauren Hirsch contributed to this reporting.
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