Edward Smith">

The Fashion Fair Mall location of Forever 21 is on a list of stores that may undergo bankruptcy liquidation. Image via Google Streetview

published on October 2, 2019 - 10:05 AM
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What was once one of the largest Forever 21 stores in the retail industry may not survive the chopping block after the fast-fashion retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sunday.

A filing Tuesday with the U.S. bankruptcy court included a list of 178 stores that could potentially shutter. On that list was the once-150,000-square-foot location in Fresno’s Fashion Fair Mall, a former Gottschalks. That space shrank in previous years to about half of its original size, according to The Fresno Bee.

Also on the list was the Forever 21 at the Tulare Outlets.

The location in the Visalia Mall was not included on the list. The company has 549 stores in the U.S. and 251 locations internationally.

The document filed with the court acknowledged Forever 21 was not alone in its struggles.

“Like many retailers, the Debtors have struggled to support their outsized store footprint as consumers increasingly purchase clothing and other goods online,” the document read.

And while not a guarantee that the stores will close, the list outlined stores that were “underperforming,” or had unmanageable leases.

Liquidation sales would begin no later than Oct. 31, and the document says that if the stores were to close, they should be vacated by Dec. 31. Though, the document states “the debtors do not anticipate closing all 178 store locations.”

“The Store Closing Procedures are a necessary tool of rate Debtors to reinvigorate their strong underlying business and allow for a reorganized business unburdened by under-performing operations,” the document stated.

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