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Family-owned clothing retailer expands operations

By Rashmi Kumar

Family-owned American clothing retailer Forever 21 has opened in London as part of its strategy to expand operations throughout Europe.

The clothing giant, 100% owned by the Korean-American Chang family, opened its third store in Europe on 27 July – it had already opened a store in Birmingham and Dublin last year.

The move comes as Forever 21, much known for its cheap but chic fashion in the US, looks to expand globally with plans to open 20 stores throughout Europe.

According to the Financial Times, second generation Linda Chang, who is the marketing director for the group, said: “The first price should be the right price. I don’t think our consumer views us as a value or discount retailer, and neither do we. We’re a fashion retailer, who happens to offer great value.”

A second Forever 21 store in London is set to open in six weeks at the new Westfield Stratford City, a shopping centre currently under construction and part of the Lowy family-controlled Westfield Group.

Forever 21 was founded in 1984 in Los Angeles by Do Won Chang and his wife Jin Sook Chang. The husband-wife team featured on the Forbes 2011 billionaire list with a fortune of $2.2 billion.

While daughter Linda handles marketing, her sister Esther is in-charge of visual display. Forever 21 had 2010 revenues of more than $3 billion.

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