CHAMPAIGN — A day after Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy protection, the manager of Market Place Mall said he is hoping it chooses to keep its Champaign location open.
“Forever 21 is a popular store at Market Place,” General Manager Dennis Robertson said. “We are hopeful that they will recommend keeping this store open in the restructuring.”
After the fast-fashion chain filed Sunday for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Forever 21 said it would be closing “a number of stores in the U.S.”
“As part of our filing, we have requested approval to close a number of stores across the U.S. The decisions as to which domestic stores will be closing are ongoing, pending the outcome of continued conversations with landlords,” the company said in a statement. “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.”
Headquartered in Los Angeles, Forever 21 was founded in 1984 and now has about 800 stores worldwide.
Its Champaign location is the only one in central Illinois.
The company said it would close most of its locations in Asia and Europe and focus on its “profitable core.”
“Forever 21’s restructuring will focus on maximizing the value of our U.S. footprint and shuttering certain international locations,” the company said in a statement provided by spokeswoman Stephanie Palumbo. “As such, and as part of our filing, we have requested approval to close up to 178 stores across the U.S.”
During the bankruptcy process, Forever 21 stores will continue to operate, and the store said it will continue accepting gift cards, returns and exchanges.