Photo by Ken Nishimura/Los Angeles Times
Originally this was a school project. Checking clothing sizing at a major department store. I moved to a smaller town of about 50,00 people, mostly students a few years ago, so I decided the biggest downtown retailer is Forever 21. My quest for sizing differences was leading me there.
Then I saw the news. Forever 21 is on the verge of bankruptcy. News is reporting they ARE in Chapter 11, but upon further research I found they are currently ALMOST there.
Los Angeles-based Forever 21 is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection as soon as this month, ideally with a restructuring plan in place, the people said. Company advisers have been working on obtaining a bankruptcy loan package that would give the retailer about $75 million to continue operations during the case, Bloomberg previously reported. – LA Times
The real question is, why are they collapsing? The economy is tanking, but their prices are cheap. They seem to be a busy store with a lot of retail goods, making mad sales. Who hasn’t walked and bought something on impulse? From lip gloss, to hair accessories, underwear, to sportswear, they have it all.
Starting with the window display. I have been drawn in by the items I see. Put together cute outfits and accessories scream, “buy me!”. Once inside the store I can NEVER, EVER find them, or find them in my size. I had to run all the way tot he register to find one employee, who was watching the register, to help me find this dress. Then it was placed far away from the actual item making it hard to find.
Stocking new items on display, an making them easily found is a must for any retailer. We want these things, let us buy them.
The original reason I came in is sizing. This is a project, right? Being a small and petite woman currently is difficult. I don’t have a 32 inseam. Think 26-27. It’s all about clothing sizes.
I’ll let you in on a secret. When sizing your clothes, a size small, to a size medium, goes up 2 inches, by industry standards. This means you size small 2, goes up two inches in waist, shoulder and hips. It also means your could be a size S could be a 0-6, or your medium, 4-10. Also a garment producer can leave up to 2 inches less or more in the trial run, later to be corrected by the designer.
Let’s look at the fit of these items. I tried two size small dresses. One is a lined, dress shirt in, the other tight fitting number I thought was the display dress.
The shirt dress is more like a Medium, except in the shoulders. I found the sleeves extra long and the waist for too baggy for any small.
Now here’s something fun to try. Get the shirt you like in two different colors, same size. Try them on? Guess what?!
Forever 21 has actually sized these differently. I found the burgundy shirt fit more comfortably, and the white fit like and extra small. There is the possibility of stretching from trying on, but everything fit he same in the waist, chest and shoulders. One was just smaller. This is an issue of Quality Control. In retail we are generally strict about that.
I’d like to voice my opinion on cleanliness. See the dirt on the dress? Not my camera, not my makeup ,but the floor did that, when I dropped everything. It makes me feel, a slight twinge of germaphobia to go in there.
Lastly the cashiers. less side-eye please. Your clothes were dirty because of your dressing room, and floor. They fit terribly with bunching and over or under sizing. This customer is buying your ill fitted clothing and paying your wages. I feel your pain, but it’s retail. Considering the hell I just went through, standing in line, and dealing with ill fitting clothes, be nice.
Honestly, I feel more, buy it, try it on at home vibe, then welcome to F21. I did however find a nice brush and hair bands I need in the impulse register area.
I have to thank them for cheap and affordable accessories and make up.
My final opinion is yes, I support them occasionally. In an over all store experience, they have problems. I hope they restructure and come out winning.