US fast-fashion retailer Forever 21 has revealed plans to open more than 100 stores in the UK as it gears up to make its debut in Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre next month.
Forever 21 executive vice-president Larry Meyer earmarked potential locations for the retailer’s roll-out citing Liverpool, Manchester, Belfast, Edinburgh and “multiple” London sites as it launches its assault on the UK market.
“Size is also important,” said Meyer. “We’re a location-driven retailer. We don’t have to rush, but if we find the right location, we’ll jump on it.”
The Bullring shop, which is due to open on November 12, covers 60,000 sq ft over two floors, with a mezzanine level. A store in Dublin’s Jervis Centre will open on November 13, followed by one next year in Westfield Stratford, east London, which was the first store the retailer signed, as revealed by Retail Week (December 11, 2009).
Meyer said the demographic will be the same in the UK as it is in the US, pitting it against major names such as New Look and H&M.
A fifth of Forever 21’s customers are under 18, about 45% are aged 18 to 24 and 35% are over 24. In Forever 21’s larger stores the age range is “somewhat older”, said Meyer, and he expects that trend to be mirrored in the UK’s big stores. “Competition is good for everyone,” he said. “Every day is another day in retail and you have to stay on your toes.”
Meyer also revealed that prices will be adjusted for the UK market, with the pound sign not simply replacing the dollar sign.
For autumn, cardigans at $10.50 will translate to £9.50, jackets at $22.80 become £19.80 and jeans at $9.50 are £8.50.
Property agent Harper Dennis Hobbs is advising the retailer.