Forever 21 to open flagship at South Coast Plaza

COSTA MESA — The clothing and accessories store that made girls hip, chic and forever young at affordable prices will open Saturday at South Coast Plaza.

The 43,000-square-foot, two-story Forever 21 takes up a large part of Sears' location at the center. Sears Holdings and the retailer with a cult-like following of young shoppers reached an agreement late last year that allowed Forever21 to open within Sears, while also keeping both competitive.

The new Forever 21 adds to the experience and diverse retailers — from young and hip to high-end couture — offered to shoppers at South Coast Plaza, said the center's executive director of marketing, Debra Gunn Downing.

"Forever 21's flagship opening at South Coast Plaza has been hugely anticipated in this market," she said. "It's a gorgeous new store with an impressive footprint and design, which is exactly what keeps our savvy shoppers engaged."

The Los Angeles-based retailer, which has 480 locations in the U.S. and around the world, is bringing its XXI Forever, the larger store concept of the brand, to the shopping center.

The store will include Forever 21 accessories and apparel, as well as other lines of the brand, including Heritage 1981, 21MEN, and a contemporary women's line called Love 21, according to a news release.

From its inception, Forever 21 wanted to give women the latest in fashion from runways in New York and Paris, but with affordable prices. Forever 21 recently extended its brand to plus-size shoppers, but remained true to its concept of offering new fashion trends.

The first 500 shoppers in line at the store's 10 a.m. opening will receive free gift cards, with amounts ranging from $10 to $100. One of the gift cards will have $210 on it.

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