Forever 21 is slated to take over 43,000 square feet in a California Sears store this spring, adding its popular presence to the shopping center and offering Sears the chance to attract younger shoppers. The move builds on the 25-year-old affordable-apparel chain's strategy of building bigger stores in newly empty retail spaces, including two shuttered Saks stores in Mission Viejo, Calif., and Charleston, S.C. "In each case, if you analyze what Forever 21 did, it relates to acquiring opportunistic real estate and making lemonade out of lemons," one analyst said.

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