These days around here we’re usually writing about chains closing stores or tapering back growth plans. So it was refreshing to read this Los Angeles Times article about Forever 21′s aggressive expansion.The retailer, which focuses on selling affordable apparel to young women, is opening a 90,000-sf three-level store in Times Square next year, and executives predict revenue will jump from $1.8 billion this year to $2.5 billion in 2009. The 400-store chain is also looking abroad with openings to come in Asia/ We can’t track down same-store sales numbers for the chain as it is private, but its growth comes at a time of volatility for publicly traded apparel chains. For example, same-store sales at Gap Inc. chains dropped 14% year over year in May, while Limited Brands stores had a 6% slide.Can Forever 21 keep up its growth and good fortune or is the industry so unpredictable any more that there is no longer any way to tell?

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