It’s exciting to be able to predict the future and be right. Three years ago, I selected five Companies

to Watch in the apparel industry. I based my decision on their potential to grow in sales, store count

and their forward innovative thinking.
What I didn’t predict was the pending recession that eventually struck the country and brought the
economy to a standstill. Despite this hurdle however, the five chains identified continued to do remarkably well.
As an editor for Chain Store Guide I am able to capture data on an ongoing basis and
report on company’s performance over prior years. Below, are the five companies selected as well as
a look at their fast pace growth.
These companies have something in common; they found their niche and stuck with it. Here is an
updated look at their past few years.
Forever 21 is a chain of clothing retailers throughout the United States, Canada, and seventeen other
countries offering fashion and accessories for young women and men. Most of the retailer’s apparel
is private label and is made in Southern California. The chain, originally known as Fashion 21, was
founded in Los Angeles, California in 1984. The first store was only 900 square feet. Fashion 21
eventually expanded at the rate of a new store every six months and soon changed the Fashion 21
brand name to Forever 21.
Company to Watch: Forever 21 Inc.
In 2005, Forever 21 was operating 355 locations nationwide with the trade names Forever 21, Forever
XXI, For Love 21, and Gadzooks. In 2008, most of Forever 21’s 404 U.S. stores were between
10,000 to 20,000 square feet and are located in malls. Over the past few years, the chain has opened
some larger stores, 90,000 square feet units, making it a potential anchor in shopping malls. Read More..

Natasha Perry, Research Editor
Natasha has held several management positions in the apparel industry.
She received her bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management
from FL Southern College. Please contact her if you have questions or