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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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Starbucks In Japan Introduces Pen To Pay For Coffee

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Japan is famous for being technologically advanced and is known for its brilliant innovations.  Starbucks in Japan is also following the trend and has been introducing various technologically driven products.  These products are quite useful and help make the customers’ shopping experience better. Starbucks’ stores in Japan have a whole range of products which can be used by the customers to pay from a digital wallet.  The range of products comes under the “Starbucks Touch” category and includes items like a flask, phone case and a wallet called The Hug. 

Now, Starbucks added another product, a pen, to their Starbucks Touch collection.  Starbucks collaborated with Japanese stationery company Zebra to release the pen. Called Starbucks Touch The Pen, the pen is designed as a drip coffee machine and includes coffee brown gel ink, which is a constant reminder of a perfect cup of coffee. 

The pen, just like other products in the collection, comes with a near field communication (NFC) reader embedded in it.  NFC is a kind of technology which allows the transfer of information between two devices, when placed next to each other.  The pen works using the FeliCa technology, which is a smart card system introduced by Sony and is widely used in Japan. The FeliCa technology is also used in the Starbucks domestic card system. 

The pen is available in black, white and silver and can only be purchased from the Starbucks online store.  The pen is priced at 4,000 yen ($ 37.46) and includes a preloaded amount of 1,000 yen ($ 9.37,) which is stored in a digital wallet.

Although the Touch Pen is not that different from the existing online payment options, the device can be considered a part of new technologies which can contribute to saving customers’ time. 

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Gucci Unknown Facts

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Gucci, the famous Italian luxury brand known for its innovative designs, is adored by many.  Gucci is considered one of the most valuable brands in the world, with a brand value of $ 18.6 billion.  Here are some unknown facts about this reputed Italian brand.

Unknown facts about Gucci

1) Gucci was founded by an Italian fashion designer named Guccio Gucci.  Guccio Gucci was in his 40s when he started his business. He was inspired by celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Winston Churchill, whom he met while working as an elevator operator at London’s Savoy Hotel.  Guccio wanted to create a brand which would be adored by every celebrity in the world.

2) It is well known celebrities around the world are huge fans of the brand.  However, American rapper 2 Chainz took his Gucci obsession to the next level when he said, “When I die, bury me in a Gucci store.”

3) Gucci is famous for its floral scarves.  These scarves were designed by Guccio Gucci’s son Rodolfo Gucci for famous Hollywood actress and Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly.

4) The Company suffered from bankruptcy after news of Aldo Gucci’s tax evasion was made public by his son Paolo Gucci.  To control the damage caused by the scandal and to boost its sales, the Company hired famous American designer Tom Ford as its creative director.  Tom Ford modernized the brand and increased its sales by 90 %.

5) In 1998, a jeans created by the brand found a place in the Guinness World Records as the most expensive jeans in the world.  Named “Genius Jeans,” it was sold for $ 3,134 in Milan.  However, the record was then broken by Levi’s, which sold a pair of jeans for $ 60,000 in 2005.

6) During World War II, when Italy was under the rule of dictator Benito Mussolini, the brand found it difficult to acquire leather.  This forced Gucci to experiment with other materials like silk and bamboo. 

7) In 2017, Gucci became the first brand in history to host a fashion show at the famous Westminster Abbey in London.

Which of these unknown facts about Gucci surprised you the most?  Comment below and let us know.

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Ex Facebook Employee Reveals How He Made $ 1 Million In A Year

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Patrick Shyu, a YouTuber who previously worked as a tech lead at Google and software engineer at Facebook, uploaded a video discussing his income after leaving the giant companies.

Shyu, whose channel TechLead has more than 500,000 subscribers, said in the video while others prance around in their business suits, driving Jaguars and acting self important, he made a million just by sitting in his toolshed, sipping coffee.

Shyu was able to generate such a huge amount from two primary sources—YouTube, which Shyu considers his main job and Facebook, which is his “side hustle gig.”  By making YouTube videos, Shyu made over $ 240,000 from ad revenues over a period of 12 months and another $ 260,000 from affiliate sponsorships. While at Facebook, Shyu made a total of $ 500,000 from base pay, bonus and equity, before getting fired.  After adding both the incomes, the total comes to a million dollars a year, Shyu explained in the video.

Even though making a million may sound easy, Patrick Shyu discussed how difficult it is in reality.  Shyu had to work 80 hours a week continuously. This included working from 8 A.M., to midnight every day, including Sundays.  While Shyu urged people not to follow his footsteps, he did acknowledge how beneficial it is to have a second job to boost one’s income.

Patrick Shyu admitted he was able to make more money as a YouTuber than he did working at Google and Facebook.  However, there is a downside to earning such a large amount as one does not have enough time to enjoy the money they are earning.  In Patrick Shyu’s words, he had to sacrifice gaming, movies and spending time with family in order to earn the million dollars. 

 

Earlier, Patrick came into the limelight when he uploaded a video titled Day in the Life of a Facebook Software Engineer.  In the video, Shyu explained the reason behind him getting fired from Facebook was his YouTube channel.  He further explained the Human Resources at Facebook did not like his YouTube channel, resulting in him being fired.  In the same video, Shyu also ridiculed the work culture at the Company.

 

Even with the disadvantage, Shyu put more emphasis on how important establishing a business is.  He concluded the video with the statement that there is always a fear of being replaced when working under someone.  However, working on your own business gives you the freedom of generating as much revenue as you want on your own conditions.

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