The couple behind the fast-fashion retail company, Forever 21, had lost nearly $4 billion since 2015 when the sluggish sales of the retail company took a toll on its finances. The couple co-founders had lost their billionaire status according to Forbes this July, two months before Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy.
Jin Sook and Do Won Chang co-founded Forever 21 in the early 1980s and had a combined net worth of $5.9 billion in 2015, which is the peak of the popularity of Forever 21. Now, Forbes said that the couple only has a combined net worth of $1.6 billion or $800,000 each.
The Korean immigrant couple had founded the fast fashion retail chain in Los Angeles in 1984 and has seen the peak of the fashion line around 2015, after which the company went on a steady decline until they filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late September.
“Today, Forever 21, Inc. voluntarily filed for bankruptcy protection under chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Essentially this allows Forever 21 to continue to operate its stores as usual, while the company takes positive steps to reorganize the business so we can return to profitability and refocus on delivering incredible styles and fashion you love for many years to come,” reads the letter addressed to their customers.
“This does NOT mean that we are going out of business – on the contrary, filing for bankruptcy protection is a deliberate and decisive step to put us on a successful track for the future.”
Forever 21 assures that they will not close down all of their stores. The San Francisco-based retail company is planning to close down nearly 200 stores in the U.S. and some of its stores in Europe and Asia.