Is this the end of noted teenage fast fashion retailer Forever 21 (PRIVATE: FOREVER21)? From the data sets we embedded below, and rumors swirling that chapter 11 is near, the all-but-inevitable bankruptcy will force either a substantial downsizing, or outright liquidation. 

If you hit "show timeline" on that map, you can see the entire history of stores opening and closing from the mid '80s until now. The 800 stores in 57 countries are at risk of shutting down, in the event of a liquidation, and we can all thank debt management and the internet for the death of traditional retailers.

The fallout will hit other businesses, too: we can see the REIT's tracked with Forever 21 affiliate locations. The owners that will suffer the most from the bankruptcy are listed below in order of who is screwed the most:

Tenant Name

Number Count

Simon Property Group


General Growth Properties


CBL & Associates Properties


Washington Prime


Multiplan Empreendimentos


Taubman Centers


Tanger Factory Outlet Centers


Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust


Pyramid Management Group


Kimco Realty


Federal Realty Investment Trust


Retail Properties of America




Brixmor Property Group


InvenTrust Properties


KLNB Retail


Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG) is the biggest loser, with exposure to a whopping 101 Forever 21 store closures. That's a lot of units that need to be turned into something else so foot traffic doesn't decline to neighboring stores. You can feel the death grip of malls really having an impact, and if you want, you can blame teenagers for all our problems. Darn you blasted teens, for not shopping at stores anymore as opposed to the convenience of shopping online and one day delivery!

The number of job openings has also been cut in half, and there are a lot of people who could be out of jobs, in the long-run. Unless there is some last minute restructuring of debt, or additional financing, the bankruptcy part is inevitable. But, there remains potential that its debt will be picked up by the next owner, which chooses to continue to run a downsized version of the still-popular retailer, but on a smaller scale. After all - as one Twitter user pointed out, to the approval of more than 40,000 other Twitter users, Forever 21 still has fans - they're just.....not 21 any longer. 

The amount of chatter online is also a death rattle. If no one cares about you anymore, and they don't give you money for goods and services, then do you really exist? Our Facebook ($FB) Talking About Count tracks the chatter around brands online - and Forever 21 will have to figure out a way to generate attention somewhere else, judging by the pattern.

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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