Forever 21 is continuing on its European quest. The American retailer has just opened a second 27,000 square foot store in France and a sixth store in the United Kingdom, at the Lakeside shopping center.
Already open in Barcelona, Vienna and Anvers, the Californian retailer doesn’t seem to be slowing down on its mission to conquer Europe.
In April, a first Scottish store is expected to open in Glasgow and a further two store openings are scheduled for France before the end of the year. Forever 21 are also marked to take its first steps in the German market.
The brand has developed a unique concept whereby it can remain adaptable. “In our bigger stores we are able to offer women’s wear, accessories, men’s wear and children’s,” says Kristen Strickler. “Then, according to size and the surface area, we are able to adapt our offering.”
Of the one-year gap between store openings in France, Kristen Strickler, who deals with Public Relations for the brand says: “It allows us to analyse the buying habits of shoppers. We have noticed that French customers prefer our more premium offerings. Whereas as English customers are more ‘mix & match’ in their style, the French are more sophisticated. We’ve had to offer more long-sleeved items, coats and jackets to meet the demands of the market. We are continuing to work on our seasonal collections.”
For the time being, the design process is dealt with in Los Angeles. Though Forever 21 has teams working on sourcing and international style, the company has yet to create a European head office. The company’s physically presence outside its stores is limited to an office in Holland in charge of e-commerce development and customer relations.
On the reputation of Forever 21 in Europe, Kristen Stickler says: “We have never indulged in huge advertising campaigns like other market players but we are doing abit more now than we have in the past. For example, you can expect something exciting for the Paris store opening. However, generally we rely on word-of-mouth.” Social media is also at the heart of the company’s marketing strategy.