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Forever 21 liquidation sale starts Tuesday in Canada

Alicja Siekierska
People walk in front of a Forever 21 clothing store, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, in New York. 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. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
People walk in front of a Forever 21 clothing store, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Get ready, shoppers.

Forever 21 Canada is set to begin its liquidation sale Tuesday, shortly after the fast fashion retailer filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada and the United States.

A sale order outlining the terms of the liquidation – which is expected to being by Oct. 8 – was approved by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Monday.

According to court documents, the sale will wrap up by Nov. 30, but it could be extended or terminated early, if required.

Forever 21 announced last week that it will shutter all 44 of its Canadian stores, the vast majority of which are unprofitable. Approximately 2,000 people work at Forever 21 stores located in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

Forever 21 will not sell any gift cards during the liquidation sale. But those holding onto Forever 21 Canada gift cards shouldn’t worry – the retailer said it will honour outstanding gift cards until Oct. 15. The company expects that customers who still have gift cards after the Oct. 15 cutoff date will be able to use them on the Forever 21 U.S. online store.

All sales during the liquidation will be final, with no returns allowed.

Forever 21 Canada has hired Gordon Brothers Canada and Merchant Retail Solutions to run its liquidation process. Gordon Brothers was one of the liquidators involved in the wind down of Sears Canada’s operations in 2017.

Bradley Sell, Forever 21 Canada’s chief financial officer, said in an affidavit that the liquidation sale guidelines “would benefit all of Forever 21 Canada’s stakeholders” and that “engaging a professional liquidator to assist with the sale…will produce better results than attempting to liquidate without professional assistance.”

The court documents stipulate specific parameters for the sale, including that advertisements cannot use the words “bankruptcy,” “liquidation” or “going out of business.” However, “everything on sale,” “everything must go” and “store closing” advertisements are permitted.

Forever 21 has been struggling for years in a rapidly changing retail landscape that has seen customers turn to e-commerce for their shopping needs. The company also specializes in fast fashion, which has been the source of widespread backlash recently over concerns about sustainability and the environmental impact of such lower-quality, mass produced merchandise.

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