Viewpoint on Forever 21: Honor Westnedge, retail analyst, Verdict

  • Can US brand Forever 21 and speed retailing take over the British high street? Read our feature here
  • See a timeline charting Forever 21’s growth, here
  • Read our Q&A with Forever 21’s head of marketing Linda Chang and executive vice-president Larry Meyer, here
  • Find out why Forever 21 feel confident in the UK market, here

The 16- to 24-year-old British customer is quite excited about Forever 21. Its frequent new lines encourage people to visit regularly. But the brand’s success will depend on how the existing UK competition reacts. At the moment, New Look is finding it quite tough so this might be to Forever 21’s advantage as it appeals to a similar audience.

Rather than grow the value market, we’re expecting Forever 21 to steal share from existing competitors.

Forever 21 has come into the UK at a tough time but as a new brand it has built up a lot of excitement and it is probably a nice relief for customers to spend their money on a new brand at an affordable price point. The price point is comparable with Primark but it offers a better store experience and is more trend-led.

It will take time to build Forever 21’s reputation here, but once its store presence grows, it should fare reasonably well. It doesn’t need a big marketing budget because of social media and its connection with its core audience. It can make itself well-known without spending a lot of money.

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