U.S. fast fashion retailer Forever 21 Inc. will re-enter the Japanese market, planning to sell its products online from February before opening stores after April, its Japanese partner said Wednesday.

The Los Angeles-based firm filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2019 due to intensifying competition with online clothing retailers. It pulled out of Japan the following month.

Adastria Co. President Osamu Kimura (C) speaks at a press conference in Tokyo on Sept. 21, 2022. (Kyodo)

The brand was later bought by an American firm. To re-enter Japan, it has teamed up with Japanese apparel company Adastria Co., which boasts a high number of online members.

It plans to open stores in shopping centers in Tokyo, Osaka and their vicinities after April. It aims to open a few stores annually, with a goal of between 15 and 18 outlets by 2028.

"We hope to thoroughly manage production and remove ourselves from the image of mass production and mass disposal," Osamu Kimura, president of Adastria, said during a press conference in Tokyo.

It targets sales of 10 billion yen ($70 million) for the year ending February 2028.

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