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Forever 21 files for bankruptcy in U.S., to cease operations in Canada

Fashion retailer Forever 21 Inc said on Sunday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. to restructure its business, joining a growing list of brick-and-mortar players who have taken a hit from fierce e-commerce competition .

The company said it plans to exit most of its international locations, including Canada, but will continue operations in Mexico and Latin America.

“After considering numerous options, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue operations in Canada,” Forever 21 Canada chief financial officer Bradley Sell said in a statement on Sunday.

“We had hoped for a different outcome, but after years of poor performance and challenges set forth by the headwinds facing the retail industry today, our Canadian operations are simply no longer economically viable.”

The retailer currently has 44 stores across the country. Forever 21 Canada said in the statement that its stores will remain open during the liquidation process.

Forever 21 Inc said it received $275 million US in financing from its existing lenders with JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. as agent, and $75 million in new capital from TPG Sixth Street Partners, and certain of its affiliated funds.

It lists both assets and liabilities in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion, according to the court filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Since the start of 2017, more than 20 U.S. retailers, including Sears Holdings Corp and Toys ‘R’ Us, have filed for bankruptcy, succumbing to the onslaught of fierce e-commerce competition from the likes of Amazon Inc.

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