Monday, May 17, 2010

Saks set to close, Forever 21 will take its place

Posted by Erica Jackson on Mon, May 17, 2010 at 11:19 AM

f21.jpg

Charleston’s shopping community got a double shot of big news this morning: Forever 21 is opening their first South Carolina location on King Street, and they are replacing Saks Fifth Avenue. Saks will close July 17, and Forever 21 is set to open at the end of the year.

"The Charleston store didn’t meet profitability standards," says Julia Bentley, a Saks spokesperson. The chain is also shuttering stores in San Diego and Portland, Ore.

Forever 21 is a Los Angeles-based apparel retailer that specializes in inexpensive, trendy women’s fashions. In addition to Forever 21 clothes and accessories, the store will include brands from the couture-inspired Twelve by Twelve, Heritage 1981, 21Men, Love 21, and HTG81, a line directed at children. “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to expand our business into Charleston and offer the latest fashion to the local community,” Executive Vice President Larry Meyer says in a release. “Additionally, we expect to create up to 150 new jobs at the Charleston location for the local community.”

Reactions to the news in the Twitterverse have so far been mixed. Some are concerned that the loss of Saks will seriously detract from King Street’s status as a high-end shopping destination — whether they actually shopped there or not. Bargain shoppers, however, are ecstatic. While the loss of this Charleston institution is certainly a blow to the retail community, we think the addition of Forever 21 will create some much-needed diversity in an area that is limited by catering almost exclusively to shoppers with deep pockets.

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