Wednesday, August 12, 2015

My Forever 21 Rant


Seriously though, let me sidetrack for a minute here. For those of you who know me personally, you all know that I have a problem with Forever 21, yet I continue to shop there. This post is a not-so-brief summary of every visit I've made to Forever 21 ever. I'm sorry that this post is extremely text-heavy, I just needed to rant a bit and I didn't have time to go out and take pictures particularly for this post. (I'll have to find you some nice stock images, like a lady laughing into her salad.)

The nearest Forever 21 is twenty minutes from your house in a super huge mall with like a billion stores. When you get to the mall, you have to enter through a department store and once you finally navigate yourself successfully out of Macy's (It's really more of a struggle than you think) you get into the main body of the mall. This is where it transitions from nice department store playing elevator music to sticky food court wonderland.

The center aisle of the mall is filled with all these cart vendors trying to sell stuff to people passing by. They are the most aggressive sales people ever; you've gotten perfume sprayed in my face more than once without being asked. (Are you even allowed to spray things on strangers without their permission or telling them what it is that you're spraying? I think not.) A lot of these carts are for things that really only affect a small area of people too, like the cart that sells wigs. I don't know who goes to a mall to walk up and down for the purpose of finding some sketchy middle aged man selling make up that doesn't even contain the ingredients on its packaging, a very small demographic, I would assume. I have honestly seen cosmetics in open packaging being sold from these vendors and it just gives me the chills every time.

Even before you can get into the huge entrance to Forever 21, you've already been approached by every salesperson in a ten mile radius in attempt to advertise products that you have no use for. There's always a few employees standing by the doors with bags and asking you if you need one. The funny thing is that each and every one of those employees will ask you if you need a bag during a ten minute span as if you weren't just asked clearly by their coworkers. I never get a bag, it's only going to encourage me to buy more clothing that will only rip in a matter of months.

The middle part of Forever 21 is composed of shoes that all appear to be made out of pleather and jewelry that is guaranteed to turn your skin green after about five minutes of wearing it. I don't want to offend anyone here, but I absolutely hate jelly shoes. You keep on wearing them if you want, but I'm just not going to partake in wearing something that looks like it could double as a child's toy. Forever 21, however, is peachy keen on jelly shoes.

Surrounding that middle area is the clothing which is divided up by style. I really enjoy that organizational tactic and can admit to that being a major plus to this store. I bet it also really helps their sales because once you find one item you like, it's surrounded by a whole bunch of other items that you're bound to like. This is how Forever 21 moves its merchandise so quickly and is able to stay up to trend. But, is anyone else concerned about where the clothing that doesn't get bought ends up? They just keep producing to stay with trend, but this just leads to piles of last season's clothing being strewn about the store being marked down from their already cheap prices. 

Side note: I would highly recommend the documentary, "The True Cost", by Andrew Morgan. (It's actually on Netflix!) This documentary goes into depth about how fast fashion retailers such as Forever 21 are impacting our environment through overproduction of cheap goods that are produced under terrible conditions. It really makes you think about getting that tribal print tank top.

Okay, so you finally find two blouses. It's hard to find wearable pieces because some of the things they're selling, you don't even know how to put on your body. Always avoid the obnoxious graphic covered t-shirts and the flimsy pajama tops that you'll need to wear another shirt under. Most of all, avoid the metallic, animal print crop top that will only cover half of your boobs. And if it has neon writing on it anywhere, return it to the rack.

Now it's time to wait in line. Seriously, everyone and their sister is waiting in this line that snakes through the store. I wouldn't be surprised if you ran into members of you immediate family, neighbors, people from school, etc. in this line because it appears almost trendy to wait in these ginormous lines. Do people have nothing better to do? I always feel bad for the girl who is trying to buy one hair bow who is waiting in line behind people carrying stacks of clothing like they had never owed a pair of pants in their lives.

Good thing the line in surrounded by little bins of things that you can look at and potentially purchase once you get to the end of it. The line is well stocked with hairbrushes and body-scrubs that you have never actually seen sold to anyone. Maybe they're just there for decoration? I honestly think the store would have a more efficient concept if the entire store was a line that you just get into and pass through the different departments on the way to the registers. I mean, you spend the majority of time in the line anyway.

Every time you go to Forever 21, you put your items up on the counter and even though they were just two blouses that looked like a good deal on the tags, somehow you're up to eighty bucks. The cashiers are extremely slow. I mean, for working in a large store that gets a lot of customers, you would think that they could scan items a little faster without checking their cellphones in the middle of your purchase. 

Then they go into their spiel about the return policy. "Are you familiar with our return policy?" is a dreaded question. Quite frankly, I'm not and I just tell them that I am so I don't have to listen to a five minute lecture by a twenty-something chewing way too many pieces of bubblegum. I think they print the policy on the back of the receipts. You always promise yourself that you'll read it at some point, but you never actually get around to it. 

It's finally time to leave the store and even though you're holding a bright yellow bag with 'Forever 21' printed across its side, the employees ask you if you'd like a bag while shopping. And that's when the security alarm goes off. The salesgirl was a little too interested in checking her texts that she forgot to remove the little alarm tag. Why do they even have alarm tags on some of their clothing? If the shirt in question is $3.99, it doesn't seem like it requires that large of a security measure. Now, you have to go back to the register while everyone stares at you like you just tried to shoplift a shirt that you could have probably paid for with the loose change in the bottom of your purse. 

This is when it gets even more confusing, do you go to the front of the line and ask the cashier to remove the tag or do you wait in that monstrosity of a line again? Seriously, the lines to check out take longer than you actually take shopping in the store. Probably the cashiers asking if you would like to add some nail polish or body glitter to your purchase today slows down the line. If I wanted body glitter, I would have gotten body glitter. 

You finally get back to the front of the line and are pretty sure that the bag-handing employees are still staring at you like you should be on America's Most Wanted. You get back to the same salesgirl that you had before and before you can even explain what's going on she tries to ring you up again. You have to awkwardly interrupt her and explain the situation and she starts asking questions like she's never seen you before in her life. ("Yes, you literally rang this up for me five minutes ago." "Yes, here's the receipt for the purchase" "Yes, I'm familiar with the return policy")Finally, with all the security tags removed and a whole debacle about whether or not you actually purchased the shirt in question over with, you are free to leave the store. 

You get back to your car which is parked absurdly far away from the mall in a sea of cars and sit down with your bag in hand. You have spent four and a half hours inside of Forever 21. You open your bag to find that the blouses you had just purchased look completely different in actual sunlight instead of the bright bulbs that illuminate the store. You also realize a stray thread poking out of the bottom of one of the blouses. You pull it and the entire shirt starts to unravel. At this point, you just throw the bag into the backseat and bang your head against the car horn. Happy shopping!



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-Katelyn