The Real Deal National

Forever 21 is in trouble. So some executives asked its landlords to pitch in, report says

The retailer is facing woes afflicting the rest of the industry. But its executives want to chart different paths.
June 28, 2019 09:30AM

From left: Simon Property Group David Simon, Forever 21 CEO Do Won Chang, and Brookfield CEO Bruce Flatt (Credit: Getty Images)

From left: Simon Property Group David Simon, Forever 21 CEO Do Won Chang, and Brookfield CEO Bruce Flatt (Credit: Getty Images)

Forever 21 is another major retailer attempting to fend off the woes of the retail industry. But its executives remain split on how to chart a path forward.

While billionaire co-founder Do Won Chang wants to keep the company’s ownership intact, some breakaway executives have approached the retailer’s landlords, including Brookfield Asset Management and Simon Property Group, for investment in the company, Bloomberg reported.

The move is part of ongoing talks of a debt-restructuring at the company, as other retailers have been impacted by the rise of online sellers. It has caused a rift among the company’s leadership, with some executives standing by Chang, and his desire to hold onto ownership, and others who reportedly approached the landlords.

However, Forever 21 disputed Bloomberg’s reporting, and said that while it had discussed rent terms with its landlords, it had not raised the possibility of an investment stake.

“While Forever 21’s policy is not to comment on speculations, we feel it’s important to refute these rumors, which are categorically incorrect,” the company said in a statement to the outlet.

The retailer, which opened its first store in Los Angeles in 1984, now has more than 800 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America. It reportedly makes up for 2 percent of Brookfield’s annual minimum l rent revenue. That figure is at 1.4 percent for Simon Property Group. [Bloomberg] — David Jeans