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Forever 21 files for bankruptcy - here are the charts that showed Chapter 11 was near

3 months ago by Jon Marino in Markets

Forever 12 ($FOREVER21) filed for bankruptcy late Sunday September 29, setting the popular retail brand up for potential liquidation or even extinction after catering to consumers for more than 30 years. However, there were plenty of indicators that the latest victim of "the retail apocalpyse" was coming.

Forever 21 has been slashing new job openings all year, which is out of step with past years' data, as it struggled against sliding foot traffic (see YoY change below) and rising debt costs. In July of this year, it slashed job postings by 55%, as you can tell from the chart above - and then again, by another 47%, as it readied for back-to-school shopping season in late August - a serious red flag for any retailer catering to younger consumers. 

Here, Thinknum Media regulars have been keeping track of the REITs with the most exposure to Forever 21. 

The company said it would exit most European and Asian businesses - meaning that dozens of stores on the map below are likely to be eliminated - but that it plans to keep operations going in the US, Latin America and Mexico. Report said 350 locations would be closed, including more than 100 in the US - so its stateside locations will thin out as well. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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