XXI Forever- Fast Fashion Just Got Cheaper

If you have yet to hear, there is a new Forever 21 in town.  Yes that’s right.  The retailer that was reported struggling to pay their bills just a year ago is now opening 40 more locations of their new store prototype, F21 Red.  This should put the grand total in the end somewhere around 70.

The main idea of this store, to stand out from their original which started in LA in 1984, is to be more affordable and family oriented.  Yes you heard me right, Forever 21 just got more affordable.  Fast Fashion is beginning to struggle, and Forever 21 is following the successful trend of Nordstrom’s & Nieman’s and opening a discount store, the difference?  This one is not an outlet, instead they focus on more basic day to day apparel.

While in Grapevine Mills I received an opportunity to wander into a new F21 Red and I left with some minor concerns.

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The Store Layout

Ever dream of being on Price is Right?  I feel the sensation every-time I enter a Forever 21 location, except instead of contestant my elongated double stroller and myself feel more like the puck in the Plinko side game while attempting to maneuver the randomly scattered 4 ways and clothing racks.  Sure it was fun to become lost and submersed in the glory of fashion variety in my teenage years and twenties, but now as a mom I avoid the store like the plague.

The new lay out in F21 Red has neat boxy lines with defined aisles like you would find in TJ Maxx or Ross.  Though on my store visit there was great chaos, and the over stock of merchandise, blended with the rush of customers, equated to attempting to maneuver my stroller now through a minefield.   Random hangers and clothing scattered the ground, customers dashed from one side to the other, and I felt overwhelmed as my wheel was stuck on a wayward sleeve lying on the sales floor somewhere in the middle of women’s dresses.

The Shoppability

I don’t know about you, but I’m terrible at making decisions.   The meme’s making fun of the women who can’t make up their mind on what they want for dinner, that’s me for every decision I have to make in my life.  Forever 21 is my worst nightmare on high anxiety days, all the variety and color becomes too much for me, I don’t even know where to begin.

The F21 Red, though still overwhelming in variety, did allow me to gain a better focus with their clear clean lines of fixtures.   Not only is their basic variety great in styles, it is always great in sizes, as F21 Red does have more available to plus sizes..and hey just all around average human sizes.

The Affordability

Is cheaper always better?   So the prices are ridiculously low, I’m talking garage sale low in some cases.  Some jeans are reported to cost less than 8 dollars?   I purchased basic tees that were somewhere around the 3-5 dollar mark feeling happy with my amazing deal.  (Of course this was before researching for my H&M article on the terrible effect Fast Fashion has had on the Earth.)

When I arrived home with the tees two of them already had holes in the side seams.  And the inside had these gigantic IKEA sized tags that scratched at my side.  I tried to cut them but that only made them scratch deeper. After that got to me I, as carefully as possible, ripped the tags off, which left large holes in the side of each of my shirts.   I was disappointed but, with only a 20 dollar investment, not incredibly heartbroken, I mean they’d still work for undershirts.

Have you been to a F21 Red?  What were your experiences?  Are you a discount shopper, or would you prefer to just stick with the originals?  Which version of Forever 21 have you preferred in the 30+ years they’ve been in business?

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Part of the A to Z Challenge

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References:

http://everythingcurvyandchic.com/2016/02/forever21-red/

https://www.buzzfeed.com/sapna/does-the-world-need-a-cheaper-forever-21?utm_term=.adn7n3Kyl#.euP8BYLZa

http://www.retaildive.com/news/forever-21-to-add-40-new-f21-red-stores-by-years-end/439902/

http://nypost.com/2016/04/28/forever-21-is-having-problems-paying-the-bills/

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