The mall magnates Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners are part of a group that wants to buy the fast-fashion trailblazer Forever 21.
The $81m price tag would be a downright steal for a company whose annual revenues once exceeded $4B.
If it sounds like a fire sale, Fast Company explains why it makes sense: The landlords are trying to keep their tenant from leaving town.
That’s because malls are already ghost towns…
… and Forever 21’s exit would probably make things worse. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in September, announcing a plan to close hundreds of stores.
At the time, experts said the move was a sign that fast fashion was going out of style:
- Those dirt-cheap duds are terrible on the environment, and younger buyers are getting thrifty.
- Worker safety is a big concern. In 2013, more than 1k people died in a garment-factory collapse in Bangladesh.
So was the fast-fashion frenzy just a fad in a cheap suit?
- 58% of fashion honchos said they expected the forecast for value-oriented outfits (that’s you, Forever 21) to get worse.
- Consumers are only going to demand more sustainable choices, but the industry has a lot of catching up to do. Just one example: Fashion accounts for 20-35% of microplastic flows into the ocean.
But experts say there’s still a gap between what consumers say they want (greener jeans) and what they actually buy (cut-rate clothes).
This sale isn’t final — yet
Forever 21 wants the mall owners’ group to be the lead bidders in a bankruptcy auction. Rival bidders have until Friday to make a counteroffer.