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From Popularizing Fast Fashion To Filing For Bankruptcy – The Journey Of Forever 21

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Forever 21, the California based fast fashion retailer, announced it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  The retailer cited the decline in mall shoppers, expensive leases and rapid expansion as the reason behind the Company’s diminishing numbers.

The Company also announced it would stop operations in Asia and Europe, however, will continue to operate in Mexico and Latin America.  Additionally, the Company will be closing up to 178 stores in the U.S.A. alone, in an attempt to restructure its business. Forever 21 secured an amount of $ 350 million in funds, of which $ 275 million was loaned by its existing lender, JP Morgan Chase.

Linda Chang, the Executive Vice President of the Company and the daughter of Forever 21 founders, said, “This was an important and necessary step to secure the future of our Company, which will enable us to reorganize our business and reposition Forever 21.

Forever 21 was founded in 1984 by a married couple, Do Won Chang and Jin Sook Chang, who immigrated from South Korea to the United States.  Do Won Chang and Jin Sook Chang worked as a dishwasher and a hairdresser respectively and managed to save $ 11,000 in three years. They used this amount to open the first Forever 21 shop.  The retail shop became quite popular as it offered fashionable clothing at a cheap rate and sales reached $ 700,000 in the first year alone.

As the popularity of the store rose, the founders slowly started expanding and opened a new Forever 21 store every six months.  The number of Forever 21 stores saw a sharp increase in the last decade. By 2018, the Company had more than 800 stores worldwide.

However, Forever 21 saw a sharp decline in its fortunes in recent years.  With consumers preferring to shop online, the stores had trouble attracting customers.  This, combined with the Company’s ever expanding number of stores worldwide, resulted in Forever 21 suffering from a huge revenue loss.  The loss suffered by the Company also resulted in its founders being dropped from Forbes’ billionaires list in 2019.

By filing for bankruptcy, Forever 21 joined a long list of retailers whose businesses have been affected by the changing retail industry, resulting in them declaring bankruptcy. 

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Entrepreneur Stories

Sundar Pichai To Lead Alphabet Inc As New CEO

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Sundar Pichai is all set to lead Alphabet Inc., the multinational conglomerate parent company of Google. Pichai was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Google since 2015 and now, he will also lead Alphabet Inc.

On the 3rd of December, Larry Page, the co founder of Alphabet Inc., stepped down as the CEO handing over the position to Sundar Pichai. Alphabet, which emerged in 2015 as a result of restructuring of Google, currently owns more than 12 companies, including Waymo, Malta, Makani, X Development, Calico, the healthcare software company Verily and others.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the co founders of Google, wrote a blog post speaking about their decision of moving out of the company, instating Sundar Pichai the CEO of Alphabet.

Larry Page showed his confidence in Sundar Pichai, who has been leading Google as the CEO since 2015. Page said, “We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company. And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President. Going forward, Sundar will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet (sic.)”

Though Larry Page and Sergey Brin resigned from their respective posts of CEO and President, they would still remain on the Board of Directors of the Company.

Born and brought up in a middle class family in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Sundar Pichai completed his education from IIT Kharagpur and Stanford University. Later, in 2004, Pichai joined Google marking the starting point of his successful career. Sundar Pichai gained success after creating and executing the Google Chrome project, which is now the world’s most used web browser.

In the letter, Larry Page and Sergey Brin addressed Sundar Pichai praising his efforts, abilities and contribution to Google. “Sundar brings humility and a deep passion for technology to our users, partners and our employees every day,” they added.

The cofounders also mentioned Pichai worked for the growth and development of Google and Alphabet for 15 years, through the formation of Alphabet, as CEO of Google, and a member of the Alphabet Board of Directors.. They are confident Pichai would lead Google and Alphabet with great passion.

Speaking about the blog and the role, Sundar Pichai tweeted

Twitter users congratulated Sundar Pichai for becoming the CEO of Alphabet Inc. Hours after the big announcement, the shares of Alphabet Inc., rose by 0.64 % to 1,303 dollars.

From a small company in 1998 working out of a dorm room and a garage to a multinational conglomerate, the journey of Google and Alphabet has been incredible. Watch the biography of Larry Page on our YouTube Channel

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Wharton Graduate Eric Tse Becomes Billionaire At 24

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Eric Tse, a Wharton graduate, was gifted $ 3.8 billion by his parents in the form of 2.7 billion shares of his parents’ company, Sino Biopharmaceutical Limited.

It was also reported along with the gift, Eric Tse was also promoted to the position of executive director at Sino Biopharmaceutical, after working at the Company for 1 year.  As the executive director, Eric Tse will have a salary of $ 498,000 annually plus bonuses.

Now, Forbes lists Eric Tse as the 546th richest person in the world.  Moreover, Bloomberg also reported the shares transferred to Eric Tse are equivalent to 21.45 % of the Company’s share capital. 

Tse Ping, Eric’s father, founded the billion dollar company Sino Biopharmaceutical in 2000 and serves as the CEO of the Company.  Cheung Ling Cheng, Eric Tse’s mother, also serves as the Vice Chairperson of Sino Biopharmaceutical. Theresa, Eric’s older sister, who is currently the Company’s Chairperson, owns 11 % of the Company. 

According to a statement released by Sino Biopharmaceutical, the shares were transferred to Eric Tse in an effort to refine the management of the Company and the inheritance of the family wealth.  The statement also added the board of directors believe the transfer of shares will not have any material impact on the business operations of the Company.

Eric Tse, who majored in Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, was also the co founder of the Penn Wharton China Summit.  The non profit organisation grew to become America’s largest student organized summit in China.

Despite the sudden increase in wealth, Tse expressed his wish of not wanting to participate in wealth ranking

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Huawei Unknown Facts

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Huawei is the world’s largest manufacturer of telecommunication equipment.  The Company was founded in 1987 by the 42 year old Ren Zhengfei.  Considered one of the world’s largest technology brands, Huawei was valued at $ 105.1 billion in 2018.  Here are a few unknown facts about this tech company.

Unknown facts about Huawei

1) Founder Ren Zhengfei came up with the name Huawei after coming across the phrase ‘Zhonghua youwei,’ which meant ‘China has promise.’ 

2) The name Huawei can be quite difficult for non Chinese people to pronounce.  Huawei is pronounced as ‘Waa wai,’ but Huawei’s pronunciation varies by countries.  This led the Company to launch a name recognition campaign, where they used “Wow way” to encourage a pronunciation closer to the actual one.

3) Huawei puts more focus on Research and Development (R and D,) with more than 40 % of the Company’s employees working in the R and D department. 

4) Huawei’s Ox Horn Campus is famous for its European style architecture.  Based in Guangdong, the R and D campus consists of 12 small ‘towns,’ modeled after famous European cities like Paris, Granada and Bruges.  The research buildings of every ‘town’ are a replica of popular castles, palaces and many more.

5) Huawei’s 5G tech played a big part in the world’s first remote brain surgery.  Dr. Ling Zhipei performed the brain surgery on a patient suffering from Parkinson’s disease.  The surgeon operated on the patient, who was 3,000 km away from him, by manipulating surgical instruments with the help of a computer and 5G network.  After the success, Dr. Zhipei credited Huawei’s 5G technology for ensuring a nearly real time operation.

6) In the tech industry, Apple is considered a direct rival of Huawei.  However, this rivalry did not stop Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei from using Apple products.  Zhengfei considers Apple’s iPhone the best phone in the world and revealed his family prefers Apple’s products over Huawei’s.

 

Did you find any of these unknown facts interesting?  Comment below and let us know.

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