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Forever 21 lists 26 Southern California stores that might close in bankruptcy

The Forever 21 store at Santa Monica Place is not on the list of locations considered for potential closing.
The Forever 21 store at Santa Monica Place is not on the list of locations considered for potential closure.
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

More than 40 Forever 21 stores in California are in danger of closing as part of the apparel chain’s bankruptcy reorganization, court records show.

When it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sunday, the Los Angeles company said it planned to shutter about 350 of its 800 stores worldwide, including about 178 of its 549 U.S. outlets.

Forever 21 issued a list of 178 U.S. stores for possible closure in its filings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Tuesday, including 41 California stores, with 26 locations in Southern California, from Santa Barbara to San Diego. They also include a few of the chain’s F21 Red branded stores.

Among the Southern California outlets are stores in Los Angeles, Culver City, Pasadena, Valencia, Arcadia and Newport Beach.

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Privately held Forever 21, a major player in the fast-fashion sector that provides a rapidly changing assortment of apparel at modest prices, sought bankruptcy protection amid a cash crunch caused by slowing mall traffic, its own over-expansion and shifting consumer buying habits toward online shopping.

Forever 21 has been particularly hard-hit because it operates exceptionally large stores, many of which are anchor stores in shopping malls.

The firm acknowledged in its filing that Forever 21 has struggled to support its “outsized store footprint as consumers increasingly purchase clothing and other goods online.”

Closing stores is “a necessary tool” for Forever 21 “to reinvigorate” the chain “and allow for a reorganized business unburdened by underperforming operations,” the company said.

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Forever 21 also issued a statement cautioning that it was possible that not all the U.S. stores listed would actually close because it was renegotiating leases with mall owners and other property owners in hopes of obtaining more favorable terms.

“The decisions as to which domestic stores will be closing are ongoing, pending the outcome of continued conversations with landlords,” Forever 21 said. “We do, however, 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.”

Here’s a list of the Southern California stores slated for potential closure:

  • Anaheim — Anaheim Plaza
  • Arcadia — Westfield Santa Anita
  • Canoga Park — Westfield Topanga Plaza
  • Culver City — Westfield Culver City
  • El Cajon — Parkway Plaza
  • Glendale — Glendale Galleria
  • Glendale — The Americana at Brand
  • Lakewood — Lakewood Center Mall
  • Los Angeles — Hollywood & Highland
  • Los Angeles — Beverly Center
  • Los Angeles — Garden State Plaza
  • Newport Beach — Fashion Island
  • Pasadena — 35 N. De Lacey Ave.
  • Rancho Mirage — The River at Rancho Mirage
  • Redondo Beach — The Galleria @ South Bay
  • Riverside — Galleria at Tyler
  • San Bernardino — Inland Center
  • San Diego — Mission Valley
  • San Diego — University Town Center
  • Santa Barbara — 901 State St.
  • Sherman Oaks — Sherman Oaks Fashion Square
  • Thousand Oaks — The Oaks
  • Tustin (F21 Red) — Tustin Marketplace
  • Valencia — Valencia Town Center
  • Van Nuys (F21 Red) — The Plant
  • Ventura — Pacific View Ventura Mall

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