American fashion retailer Forever 21, which declared bankruptcy in September of last year, has reached an agreement with a consortium of companies to sell its assets for $81 million.
Signed on Sunday and made public on Monday, the deal involves an agreement between Forever 21 and a consortium made up of mall owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield, as well as brand management company Authentic Brands Group, owner of brands including Juicy Couture, Nautica, Vince Camuto and – as of November of last year – Barneys New York.
Other potential buyers have until Friday to make a counteroffer. If any further bids are made, an auction will be held next week.
Founded in Los Angeles by South Korean couple Do Won and Jin Sook Chang in 1984, Forever 21 made its name in the U.S. and abroad by offering its young customers clothing similar to that being sold by big-name brands at much lower prices.
Facing stiff competition from the likes of H&M and Zara, the retailer expanded into menswear and footwear following the 2008 financial crisis. According to analysts, however, the chain did not react quickly enough to the accelerating popularity of online shopping or to the demands of customers increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of the products they buy and the work conditions in the factories that they come from.
Last September the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which allows companies to keep control of their assets as they work towards restructuring.