To Boost Ecommerce, Forever 21 Partners With Performance Branding Firm Within

The fashion retailer is climbing back from bankruptcy

forever 21 storefront
Forever 21 is focusing on ecommerce with a new partnership. Getty Images

Key insight:

Fashion retailer Forever 21 has announced a partnership with performance branding company Within in an attempt to revamp its ecommerce business.

Within, whose client roster also includes Nike, Shake Shack and Hugo Boss, will join the Forever 21 marketing team to assist with content production and media management for social and search platforms.

This partnership comes after a year of change for Forever 21. The brand declared bankruptcy in 2019, and was acquired by Authentic Brands Group, Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners in February, and appointed a new CEO, Daniel Kulle, who previously served as the president of H&M North America.

Already planning to close its 100 lowest-performing stores as part of a restructuring, Forever 21 has faced challenges due to Covid-19 and asked the court for an extension.

The partnership with Within could prove to be a positive move for Forever 21 in more ways than one. Kulle believes it will take the brand in a more socially responsible direction, in an effort to be a “more open-minded brand” aligned with its “conscientious consumers,” she said in a statement.

Within CEO Joe Yakuel understands the challenge of taking on a brand with a tumultuous recent past, but is excited about the prospect, he said in a statement. He thinks an approach based on data and tried-and-true marketing methods will prove successful.

“We will leverage their deep understanding of their customer base and ability to set trends with merchandise to power smart media and content strategies that will maximize growth,” Yakuel said.

Within previously worked with Savage x Fenty to produce video content, Hugo Boss to create a Father’s Day campaign, and Shoe Dazzle to put together a drag queen fashion shoot.

Forever 21 is certainly not alone in retail brands leveraging their ecommerce operations right now, even as stores reopen across the country. Ulta Beauty is utilizing augmented reality try-on tools with GlamLab, fashion label Michael Kors is introducing new products via livestream, and DTC footwear and accessories brand Allbirds is shifting to mobile-first.

Kaila is a graduating senior at Villanova University pursuing a degree in PR & Advertising and Journalism. She is currently working as the Social Media Manager for CLLCTVE, and covers brand marketing and retail stories as a contributor for Adweek.