Forever 21 stays open in Philippines, says SM Retail

Ralf Rivas
Forever 21 stays open in Philippines, says SM Retail
Forever 21 finds love in the Philippines, even as its parent company files for bankruptcy in the United States

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine operations of fast fashion giant Forever 21 will not be affected by the bankruptcy filing of its parent company in the United States, according to SM Retail.

“There is no effect on our Philippine operations. Forever 21 Philippines continues to be one of the stronger global operations,” SM Retail president and chief executive officer Ponciano Manalo said in a text message.

SM Retail, which holds the majority stake of the Forever 21 brand in the country, said the parent company’s bankruptcy filing allows it to reorganize “in a manner that will improve overall sales and operations.”

The US company’s voluntary bankruptcy ensures it will retain control and possession of its assets while restructuring is carried out.

It is seen to close around 350 stores worldwide, most of which will be in its main US market.

While most countries will be saying their goodbyes to Forever 21, its Philippine operator remains optimistic on the future of the brand locally and is even investing for the holiday season.

“We will continue to offer up-to-date merchandise and are gearing up our marketing investments for the coming Christmas season,” Manalo said.

Forever 21 was founded in California in 1984 by South Korean husband and wife Do Won and Jin Sook Chang.

It reached Philippine shores in 2010 through a joint venture with SM Retail and opened its first store at SM Megamall. There are now 15 Forever 21 stores in the country. –

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.