Fashion retailer Forever 21 plans to close up to 178 stores in the U.S. as the company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The proposed store closure list was not disclosed.
The fashion retailer, which operates around 800 stores worldwide, 500 stores in the U.S., including at least 20 locations in New Jersey, was reportedly in talks with advisers and lenders to restructure its debt in June.
“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,” Forever 21 said in a letter to customers. “Most importantly, our stores are open and it will continue to feel like a normal day – 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.”
Company officials said the store closure list would be determined based on negotiations with landlords, however, it does not expect to exit any major markets in the U.S.
In addition to the U.S. closures, Forever 21 plans to shutter most of its locations in Asia and Europe but will continue operating in Mexico and Latin America. The company has around 300 international stores.