Two days ago, Reuters reported that the closing Virgin Megastore in Times Square will be replaced by a Century 21, the famous mega outlet in Lower Manhattan. But today, the New York Times says that Virgin will be replaced by Forever 21, which is obviously a completely different store, though both sell clothing at astonishingly low prices (the difference being, you can find Marc at Century 21, and Marc knock-offs at Forever). We're pretty sure the Times is right, even though WWD did report back in November that this unprecedentedly enormous Forever 21 would occupy the old space from Tower Records, which is obviously different from Virgin. But it's Thursday, so we're pretty sure this is all fine.
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Forever 21 Hits UK, Daily Mail Complains Prices Are Jacked (Cough, Topshop)
Forever 21 is headed across the pond to compete with UK high street staples like Topshop and Primark. Their first outpost opens in Birmingham today, to be followed by stores in London and Dublin. This, on the heels of the opening of their 91,000 square foot flagship store in Times Square. The recession has been kind to Forever 21. "The customer always knows they will get great value at Forever 21, so the fact that it's a difficult time now just..makes our concept potentially more appealing to people," executive vice president Larry Meyer told the BBC. But the Daily Mail is griping that while the UK prices are still cheap, they are significantly marked up from their prices in the US. The paper's story, which ran with the headline "Chic, but not THAT cheap: US High Street favourite Forever 21 hits UK (but why are prices 25 per cent higher here?)" points out that "a dotted abstract skirt that sells for the equivalent of £11.08 in the US comes in at £13.80 in the UK, a mark-up of 24.5per cent," and that "a faux leather jacket with a studded leather collar is £39.80 in this country, which is some 33per cent more than the £29.76 in the US and Canada." When asked about the pricing differential, a spokesperson for Forever 21 told the Mail, "When pricing our ranges we do not simply replace the dollar sign, we carefully consider all the local influencing factors such VAT and import costs." Of course, this is a problem we're all too familiar with.
Forever 21's Hologram Fashion Show was Amazing--Is It the Future of Fashion?
Yesterday Forever 21 presented their fall collection on the runway. Models walked the catwalk, as they do, strutting, smiling, and then, they started walking upside down. On the ceiling. And then down invisible stairs. These are things you can do when the models are holograms. Forever 21 is growing globally, with new stores in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, so what better way to introduce the brand to new customers than with a dazzling hologram fashion show? And really, it was dazzling. At one point neon rain started to fall and models sprung up out of the raindrops.