As far back as January of this year, multiple sources were reporting the worldwide clothing retailer Forever 21 was opening up in Columbia Center Mall Kennewick.

But after 9 months of no activity, and rumors of bankruptcy, that opening became less likely.  Now, it's all but dead as Sunday evening the company announced they were declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The plan includes, according to Business Insider.com, closing 178 stores domestically, including all of it's European and worldwide operations.

This image is of the Spokane Valley Mall, where it's store will likely close.

The company had become one of, if not THE most popular teen-young adult clothing stores because they offered trendy fashions as discount prices. But after years of explosive growth since they expanded to go national in 1985-86, the company fell on hard times. Experts say over-expansion led to them being perceived as 'not so trendy' and other competitors began to catch up and even exceed them in offering these goods.

Several years ago, the company began to erode, but as recently as 2016-17 was still pursuing expansion, no doubt including Columbia Center plans.

However, the Chapter 11 will most likely keep customers from feeling Forever 21 in our region. Company officials say they are NOT going out of business, but this step is necessary to preserve the chain, or what's left of it.