U.S. fast fashion retailer Forever 21 will re-enter the Japanese market, with plans to sell its products online from February before opening stores after April, its Japanese partner said Wednesday.

The Los Angeles-based firm filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2019 due to intensifying competition with online clothing retailers. It pulled out of Japan the following month.

The brand was later bought by an American firm. To re-enter Japan, it has teamed up with Japanese apparel company Adastria, which boasts a high number of online members.

It plans to open stores in shopping centers in Tokyo and Osaka and their surrounding areas after April. It aims to open a few stores annually, with a goal of between 15 and 18 outlets by 2028.

"We hope to thoroughly manage production and remove ourselves from the image of mass production and mass disposal," Osamu Kimura, president of Adastria, said during a news conference in Tokyo.

The firm is targeting sales of ¥10 billion ($70 million) for the year ending February 2028.