Forever 21 fashionably growing in the Netherlands
Founded in 1984 as a single store in Los Angeles, Forever 21 is currently a phenomenon in the fashion world. Internationally, the company has upwards of 700 stores in 48 countries with retailers not only in in the United States, but also Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Mexico, the Netherlands, Philippines and United Kingdom.
"Our primary focus is merchandise and apparel for fashion-conscious young women-from the early teens through to the 30s-maybe even early 40s," say Young Kwon, General Counsel for Forever 21 in the Los Angeles headquarters. "We feature a constant flow of fashion forward, fun and creative clothing designs and accessories at affordable prices. We've also added apparel and shoes for men. Over the years, we have expanded our merchandise line to accommodate the various demographic segments of our customers and hope to continue our success as we further expand our presence in Europe."
The Netherlands plays a strategic role in that expansion. Back in 2010, Forever 21 established its European Headquarters in Breda which serves as a robust backbone for administrative functions including accounting, IT and an online call center. "This operation is continuously evolving as needed," says Kwon. He adds that the company’s European distribution center is also based in the Netherlands in Bergen op Zoom. This operation delivers to the European stores as well as the online web shop.
"From our research, we understood that the Netherlands was a key country where many international companies have set up their headquarters and logistics," says Kwon. "It's a central location within the European community. Among other advantages, the country’s workforce is multi-lingual which is a key component in effective communication with employees in the various retail locations throughout Europe. This also ensures that we provide quality service to our e-commerce customers as we continue to build our customer base in Europe," he says. "In making this decision we were of course mindful of the benefits offered by the Netherlands in the areas of duties, taxes and other business matters."
very grateful to the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, which walked us
through the steps necessary to establish our presence in Europe," says
Kwon. “The NFIA helped us get acquainted with our entry process and facilitated
the setting up of meetings with government personnel."