BARBOURSVILLE — After Forever 21 announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and said it would close some of its stores, the location at the Huntington Mall in Barboursville was placed on a “potentially closing” list.
Joe Bell, director of corporate communications with Cafaro, the company that owns the Huntington Mall, says it is not uncommon for a company going through a bankruptcy to put stores on a potentially closing list as a way to be able to renegotiate its lease with its landlord.
“We have seen this before, and we are currently in negotiations with Forever 21,” he said.
In a letter to its customers, Forever 21 says the decision to close stores is ongoing, and the exact number depends on negotiations with landlords.
“Once we complete a reorganization, Forever 21 will be a stronger, more viable company that is better positioned to prosper for years to come. We look forward to continuing to provide you with the great service and curated assortment of merchandise that you expect from us,” the letter said.
For now, stores will continue to operate as usual, the company said.
Shannon Wray, of Milton, says she hopes the Huntington Mall location doesn’t close its doors.
“I do a lot of clothes shopping for my daughter at this store, and it would be sad to see it go,” she said. “I don’t like to shop for clothes online. I prefer to do that at the store.”
Forever 21, once one of the world’s leading clothing retailers, is a privately held chain based in Los Angeles, California. The company has a total of 549 stores in the U.S. and 251 stores internationally.
At the Huntington Mall, the Forever 21 store opened three years ago, in a space formerly occupied by Elder-Beerman.
Forever 21 said it will close up to 178 stores in the U.S. and as many as 350 globally.