Forever 21 planning six-story garage to deal with Lincoln Heights parking problems

Lincoln Heights  --  When Forever 21 opened a flashy new headquarters and distribution center on Mission Road seven years ago, the company was expanding rapidly, winning over young customers with its brand of low-priced, fast fashion.

But now the firm that brought an estimated 2,000 jobs to Lincoln Heights is struggling to engineer a turnaround and avoid a possible bankruptcy filing as sales have slowed and competition has increased, according to various reports.

The family-owned firm is working with the prominent L.A. law firm Latham & Watkins to help it reorganize, which could mean closing stores, reports the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.

Earlier this year, the discount fashion retailer sold its Lincoln Heights headquarters and warehouse for $166 million, according the L.A. Business Journal

The company has maintained its headquarters in Lincoln Heights. But it's not clear how a corporate restructuring might impact employment at the site.

Forever 21's large staff and sleek buildings brought new life to a drab stretch of warehouses just east of Lincoln Park. But it's arrival also created a parking crunch that prompted the company to build a giant parking garage.

The move to Lincoln Heights from Vernon in 2012 brought Forever 21 closer to its Eastside roots. 

The company’s first store, then known as Fashion 21, opened on Figueroa Street in Highland Park in April 1984. That 900-square-foot store generated $700,000 in sales during its first year, says the company's website. The company now has estimated annual revenues of about $4.6 billion and operates more than 800 stores in nearly 60 countries.

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