Clothing outlet Forever 21 plans major expansion

Kyodo News

Los Angeles-based fast fashion brand Forever 21 Inc. has said it aims to open 10 outlets annually in Japan, which it considers the top market in Asia.

“Japan is the No. 1 market in Asia,” Executive Vice President Lawrence Meyer told a news conference Wednesday ahead of the opening Thursday of its second Japanese outlet, this one in the Matsuzakaya department store in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district.

“If we find the right location, we want to open 10 outlets per year,” Meyer said.

Forever 21 is the latest fast fashion brand to enter the upscale Ginza shopping district.

Sweden’s H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB opened in Ginza in 2008 and Japan’s Fast Retailing Co. expanded its Uniqlo store in Ginza last October.

On opening the new outlet as Forever 21′s first flagship store in Asia, Meyer said, “We chose Matsuzakaya Ginza as our second outlet because we sensed their vision and for its great location.”

Norio Takemura, a public relations official at Matsuzakaya, said he hopes the development will attract customers in their 20s and 30s to the department store.

Known for its reasonable prices and unprecedented designs for young people, the shop will sell new brands for children ages 6 through 14 as well as older customers.

Forever 21 opened its first outlet in Japan in Tokyo’s trend-setting Harajuku district last year.

It is also planning to launch outlets in Chiba Prefecture and Tokyo’s Shinjuku district.