Recessionistas, rejoice! Discount goliath Forever 21 is set to open a 100,000 square foot location in the heart of Times Square. On the one hand, tears for the cult music chain Tower Records that used to occupy the same spot (and tears for the old Times Square—whither the porno shops and gritty theaters?); on the other, we can't wait to be able to avoid cramming ourselves against tweeny-boppers and tourists at the store's other locations in Union Square and Soho. Seriously, it's hard to even imagine how big 100,000 square feet is! At least someone's doing well enough to commit cold hard cash to New York real estate. Our dreams of securing a mortgage seem to have gone the way of prairie skirts and lucite wedges. But we digress: If profits are any indication of trends, Americans are shopping at wallet-friendly stores by the hordes—the company is project to do $1.8 billion in sales this year, up from $1.3 billion last year. Inconceivable!
In some ways, the opening feels like a dig at the powers that be at Topshop. The British giant that was supposed to come over to compete with megachains like F21 and Uniqlo was stalled earlier this fall due to "logistical problems with the New York site." And yet Forever 21 has the financial chops to secure an epic space in the middle of tourist shopper heaven? You know the Topshop movers and shakers are slowly wringing their hands trying to find a way to open fast enough that their limelight isn't stolen by $23 plaid dresses and $15 faux-quilted handbags.