Forever 21, located in the San Luis Obispo Promenade shopping center on Madonna Road, will be closing after the holiday season, in January 2016.
When the 120,000 square-foot building closes, 72 employees will be laid off, according to a letter from Forever 21 sent to San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx on Nov. 12. The letter states that the store “plans to permanently cease all store operations … effective on or around Jan. 6, 2016.”
Forever 21 employs one store manager, two assistant managers, two managers, four “leads” and 63 store associates According to the San Luis Obispo Tribune.
Forever 21 bought the store and its lease from Gottschalks after that company filed for bankruptcy protection. In 2014, the Kroenke Group, based in Columbia, Mo., bought the San Luis Obispo Promenade consisting of 22 retail spaces, one of which is Forever 21.
While employees will have to look for new jobs after the holidays, the closing of this store will affect college students as well.
“I think a lot of girls will be upset because it is convenient and cheap for themed party outfits, costumes and even business attire,” animal science sophomore Madison Wells said. “At Forever 21, you can get the latest trends with a college budget.”
While there is still no information on what will go in the space next, a department store would fit the space best, Wells said.
“Since it is such a large space, I think it would be nice to have a shop for everything, like a Macy’s or Nordstrom,” Wells said. “It is a little more expensive, but it would have housing items and clothing for men and women.”
Another affordable option to replace Forever 21 would be good for college students, according to business administration sophomore Sophia Mourelatos.
“Another less expensive clothing store would be a great addition,” Mourelatos said. “There are so many cute boutiques and shops downtown, but being on a college student budget, it would be nice to have an affordable option for shopping.”
Forever 21 and the Kroenke Group did not respond to phone calls.