US retailer Forever 21 to shrink its first UK store

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The Independent Online

The US fashion giant Forever 21 is already seeking to downsize its debut UK store, less than a year-and-a-half since it launched to a fanfare.

The group's plan to sub-let to other retailers part of its store in Birmingham's Bullring shopping centre came as it emerged it lost nearly £2 for every £3 of sales in the four months after opening in November 2010.

Larry Meyer, the executive vice president of Forever 21, which has two other UK stores in London and one in Dublin, said: "We are currently evaluating options with the landlord to improve the productivity of the space in our Birmingham store."

Last summer, Mr Meyer said he wanted 100 stores in "every major city, every mall and every major high street" in the UK within five years.

But in February he struck a more cautious tone on its expansion plans in the UK.

Forever 21 has 497 shops globally. It had UK pre-tax losses of £1.86m in the year to 26 February 2011, which was directly related to the investment it made in establishing the business.

It posted turnover of £3.39m from four months of trading, according to its annual report at Companies House.