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Forever 21 files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy; will close up to 178 stores

Low-price fashion chain Forever 21, a one-time hot destination for teen shoppers that fell victim to its own rapid expansion and changing consumer tastes, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The privately held company based in Los Angeles said Sunday it will close up to 178 stores in the U.S. As of the bankruptcy filing, the company operated about 800 stores globally, including more than 500 stores in the U.S.

The company said it would focus on maximizing the value of its U.S. stores and shutter certain international locations. Forever 21 plans to close most of its locations in Asia and Europe but will continue operating in Mexico and Latin America.

Forever 21 operates stores locally in Syracuse, Rochester, and Victor at area malls. It’s unclear if closures will impact any of those locations.

“The decisions as to which domestic stores will be closing are ongoing, pending the outcome of continued conversations with landlords,” it said in the statement. “We do, however, expect a significant number of these stores will remain open and operate as usual, and we do not expect to exit any major markets in the U.S.”

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