Sydney home for Forever 21
Speculation that Forever 21 will open its first Sydney store at AMP Capital’s Macquarie Centre has been heightened by the appearance of a job ad for staff for a Sydney store.
The ad appeared on youth pop culture site, Pedestrian, this week, with applications closing on August 29.
The ad calls for staff in both Brisbane and Sydney across the positions of store manager, assistant store manager, sales supervisor, sales assistant, store merchandise manager, and instore merchandiser.
While a Brisbane store was announced for Queen St Mall late last year and is expected to open next month, a Sydney opening has not yet been announced.
Both the timing of the Sydney recruitment drive, and the availability of space adequate to house a Forever 21 store fit with Macquarie Centre as the likely location.
The final stage of Macquarie Centre’s $440 million redevelopment is scheduled to open in October, and will include four international fast fashion retailers, two of which have already been named as Uniqlo and Zara.
With Forever 21 now all but confirmed, Inside Retail expects the inclusion of H&M as the fourth international to be announced shortly.
Despite rampant speculation, AMP Capital is keeping mum on its international anchors, with a full announcement of its new high profile tenants expected closer to the centre’s official unveiling.
According to an Inside Retail PREMIUM source, Topshop and Topman were also originally to be part of the development, however, discontinued negotiations, while Gap and Polo Ralph Lauren are also said to be confirmed tenants.
Macquarie Centre will grow by around 38,000sqm to a total of 138,500sqm on completion, making it the largest suburban shopping centre in Sydney.
Forever 21 is a US-based fast fashion chain founded by Korean immigrant, Do Won Chang and his wife, Jin Sook, in Los Angeles in 1984.
There are now more than 600 stores around the world, with 600 more planned to open in the next three years.
The Australian license is held by Sharaf Retail, a Dubai-based business with interests in retail, real estate (including Dubai shopping centre, Times Square Center), logistics, IT, travel, finance, and industry.
Sharaf is responsible for Forever 21’s presence in the Middle East as well as Australian brand, Cotton on, Sharaf DG, Sanrio (owner of Hello Kitty), Woolworths (South Africa), Adventure HQ, Yellow Hat, YooMoo, and Hello Kitty Spa.
It is understood the business has set up an Australian head office in Sydney, following an executive search in January, with another wave of head office staff joining the Australian business last month.
The Brisbane store, announced in November last year, will occupy a 1900sqm, two storey tenancy at newly developed CBD hotel, Next Hotel – formerly Lennons Hotel, fronting Queen St Mall.
The Sydney store is expected to occupy a similar space, with its complete men’s, women, children, and accessories ranges likely to be stocked.
Inside Retail PREMIUM tips that Forever 21’s pricepoints for the local incarnation will sit around the same mark as Australia’s Cotton On and Supre, which coincidently, sit under Sharaf’s portfolio of brands in the Middle East.
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