Forever 21 will open freestanding beauty stores
With the beauty industry seeing growth while apparel sales decline, Forever 21 is taking steps to position itself as competitive in the cosmetics market. The fast fashion chain is looking to open its first freestanding beauty boutiques.
The Los Angeles-based fashion chain already has its own in-house makeup line and sells Korean beauty products and budget brands like E.l.f. and Nyx in its stores, but the new stores would exclusively sell makeup in order to compete with the likes of Sephora and Ulta. Called Riley Rose, the new beauty stores would start with ten locations throughout the country, with more set to open soon if the initial launch proves successful.
Many retailers have amped up their beauty offerings in order to capture the growing market. JCPenney announced the expansion of its partnership with Sephora, while Nordstrom has branched into the Korean beauty sphere with recent pop up stores. Drugstores like Walgreens have also announced plans to improve their makeup offerings. And while major clothing retailers have seen mass store closures in recent months, both budget beauty chains like Ulta and luxury shops like Cos Bar will be opening dozens of new stores in the next year.
Forever 21 has not said which makeup lines it will carry at the new Riley Rose stores, but it will put its focus on Instagram-friendly products targeted at millennial consumers. Among Forever 21’s current makeup offerings are trendy rainbow highlighters and Korean sheet masks, with many products retailing for under $5.
Beauty is not the only area where Forever 21 is expanding its reach. The brand has also re-launched its plus size line, and made the foray into bridal wear. A collaboration of affordable bridesmaids dresses with Los Angeles designer Rory Beca hit stores last week. Pieces start at $68 and include trendy silhouettes and colors that the brand advertises can easily be worn again.
Though it continues to expand its output, Forever 21 has also faced criticism for ripping off high-end designs. It recently won a lawsuit against Puma for allegedly copying designs from its Puma x Fenty collaboration with Rihanna.
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