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Forever21 ends Colombian journey with Bogotá store closure

Forever21 initiated its exit from Colombia by shuttering its flagship store in Bogotá.

Forever21 is ending its 12-year stint in Colombia, starting with the closure of its flagship store in Bogotá's prestigious T Zone on 82nd Street. The departure marks the winding down of operations in the country, including its remaining stores in Bucaramanga and Medellín.

Exit strategy and store closures

Forever21 initiated its exit from Colombia by shuttering its flagship store in Bogotá, a prominent location known for its commercial appeal. The closure was marked by a clearance sale offering discounts of up to 70%. This move follows the closure of other stores in the country, signaling a complete withdrawal from the Colombian market.

Market presence and partnership

Since its debut in 2012, Forever21 has been a notable player in Colombia's fast fashion sector, initially entering through a partnership with the Chilean group Ripley. Despite efforts to establish a foothold, the brand's operational revenues declined by 20% in 2023 compared to the previous year, reflecting challenges in the market.

Financial challenges

Alameda Colombia SAS, the local entity managing Forever21 operations, reported financial difficulties, including negative equity exceeding 4,000 million pesos and a negative balance of liabilities and assets amounting to approximately 5,000 million pesos (about 1.3 million dollars). These figures were disclosed to the Superintendence of Companies, highlighting financial strain amidst the competitive retail landscape.

Market conditions and demand dynamics

The decision to exit comes amid rising imported fashion prices in Colombia, contributing to decreased consumer spending on apparel. This economic backdrop has impacted demand for fast fashion brands like Forever21, prompting the multinational to reevaluate its market strategy and ultimately withdraw from the country.

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