Forever 21 has re-entered the U.K. and EU market today, just months after collapsing into administration, with a new online store for British customers.
The once-thriving fast fashion brand was forced to close its website and brick-and-mortar stores on September 30 after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S.
There were three U.K. stores at the time administrators were appointed, but over 800 stores worldwide.
At the time, many analysts felt the Californian company, founded in 1984, fell out of favour with young shoppers looking to buy cheap clothes online.
Yet, in February, a second chance was offered by Authentic Brands Group (ABG), the brand developer-owners of Juicy Couture and Barneys, who purchased Forever 21 for just over £63 million ($81 million).
Unsurprisingly, the ‘new’ Forever 21 has announced its digital U.K. launch as part of a new e-commerce-centric global expansion strategy.
The company partnered with cross-border e-commerce solutions provider Global-e to create localised shopping experiences (and shipping from its U.S. fulfilment hub) online, and the approach has already produced a significant uplift in conversion rates and orders in test markets.
According to the company’s press release, conversion rates rose by 72% year-on-year in Taiwan, and 133% year-on-year in Australia, coupled with an increase in customer satisfaction rates.
Globally, the Forever 21 international online offering now includes support for more than 95 currencies, over 150 local and alternative payment methods, and localised checkout in 25 languages.
Forever 21 CEO Daniel Kulle said: “We are excited to offer our trendy collections on our Global online site, to our large following of loyal Forever 21 fans in the U.K. and mainland Europe.
“Our loyal consumers are digital savvy and expect a seamless, sophisticated online shopping experience, so it is vital for us to ensure that every step in the online journey is tailored to their needs and preferences. Global-e’s advanced cross-border localisation solutions have been a crucial part of our growth.
“Despite the market conditions the entire industry is facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we see a strong demand for the Forever 21 brand in the U.K. and the rest of Europe.”