Forever 21′s Dirty, Ripped Up, Busted Secret

Upon my last visit to the day-glow, cheap shit gigolo that is Forever 21, I made the grave (and hilarious) error of forgetting where the fuck I was and expecting their sales rack to contain something other than filthy, tattered rags.

Forever 21 Ripped Dress

Forever 21 Ripped Dress

Forever 21 Ripped Dress

Now, some of you may be looking at these photos and saying, “Rachel, come on! It’s the sale rack at Forever 21. What do you expect?”

Forever 21 Ripped Dress

I can hear you saying it in your nasally little voices right now. It’s the same tone of voice that your annoying friend uses when she is informing you that the classic rules of Monopoly say no one gets the money in free parking or that you actually did deserve that speeding ticket when you were running late to see Don Jon.

It doesn’t matter what I EXPECT. If I lived my life expecting people (which corporations are – thanks, Romney) to try to sell me turds rolled in glitter with price tags on them at every turn, I’d never leave the house. Especially when I can order them on Amazon from the comfort of my couch, fuck-you-very-much.

For the un-initiated, when a garment is this rough looking…

Forever 21 Ripped Dress

this trashed…

Forever 21 Ripped Shirt

and this generally effed…

Forever 21 Ripped Top

you damage it. Meaning you mark it as a damaged, unsaleable piece of shit and take it off the sales floor because, how embarrassing, we don’t want our customers to think homeless people routinely come into the store and just switch whatever they have on for what’s on the hangar in front of them.

Forever 21 Ripped Shirt

Well, ok, fine. Given that pretty much all Forever 21 stores cover enough square footage to comfortably accommodate a weight watchers meeting for pachyderms, I gave them  a small amount of leeway and conducted a little experiment to see what the employees would do (or rather, what their beaten down, age-inappropriately dressed manager would do) when confronted with damaged merchandise.

I took one of the sweaters to the cashier and attempted, with a face as straight as Linda and Esther Chang’s pubic hairs, to purchase the item.

Forever 21 Ripped Sweater

“Sure! Oh, is this supposed to be this way?” asked the sales associate as he turned the fretted rag over in his perfectly manicured hands.

“I don’t think so. Actually, I was going to ask if I could get a discount for the damage,” I replied, innocent and doe eyed.

This is the point at which in any respectable store, the sales associate would give the garment a once-over and reply, “Actually, this looks way too damaged for us to sell. I am going to have to mark it as such. I will offer you a 10% discount on any other full sale item in the store. Sorry about that.”

What ACTUALLY happened, is he said he had to get his manager, who then told me the item was already on sale BECAUSE OF THE DAMAGE and that she would not discount it further. That I could still purchase this rag, if I wanted to, but only at the price as marked.

So apparently, instead of taking severely damaged merchandise off the floor and creating some semblance of dignity and respect for the wares they expect people to spend hard earned money on, Forever 21 would rather be in the business of trying to sell people scrap fabric covered in cheap sequins and clutches that look like they belong to a manic depressive drag queen with shaky hands.

Forever 21 Purse Gross

And before you go protesting that “Forever 21 is a fast fashion store! Their clothes are cheap! I don’t expect them to treat their own merchandise (which could eventually become a part if MY wardrobe) with respect,” THINK about that statement and realize that you are culpable in how this company and many others do bad business.

If we don’t hold chains like Forever 21 to even a little bit of a standard, then they won’t have any standard to meet. They’ll do things like rip off small, independent designers, treat their employees like shit and contribute to the scourge of sweat shop labor (allegedly).

So the next time you shell out $9.99 on a damaged top at Forever 21 because “oh, I can just fix it at home” or “It’s just so CHEAP!” remember that you’re not in a charity thrift store. You’re contributing to a billion dollar corporation with arguably questionable ethics and a calculating eye on the bottom line.

An eye they apparently choose to turn blind when confronted with shit like this:

Forever 21 Filthy

Forever 21, WTF?


Filed under Straight WTF

15 Responses to Forever 21′s Dirty, Ripped Up, Busted Secret

  1. Girl…thrift stores have better standards then the crap you just posted. I’ve never seen stuff like that in the stores over on this side.

  2. BeeBee

    I am really not outraged at this. Much more outraged at how they treat their employees.

  3. Laura D

    Yeah, that’s pretty horrendous. That’s shameful how filthy and tattered most of that stuff is you took pictures of. They must have a revolving door of employees or treat the ones they do have poorly because it appears as though merchandise isn’t being maintained properly daily.

  4. Viviana

    I work in LA, in the garment industry. The company I work for sells to Forever 21. With every order they place. We always manage to get screwed over. We can inspect the goods 20 different times and they always come up with some bullshit excuse to get a discount or cancel our orders. My boss has told us countless times, that he has no other choice but to lay down and take their beating, that it is better to take their demands then to fight them because in the end, no matter what we do we loose.

  5. Nick

    I work at Forever21 and I just wanna say that you also have to factor the fact that customers are so rabid these days. I had a lady tell her son, “Nigga you don’t work here… Stop picking up the stuff you’re dropping.”

  6. Donna

    That’s a disgrace. My best friend works at a Forever21 over here on the East Coast and I’ve never once had a problem with merchandise looking like that in any of the stores here. I wouldn’t ever shop there if there was shit like that.

  7. Anonymous

    What’s EVEN WORSE is that they EVEN DARE to sell them at full prices in Canada too!!! I mean…like WTFH?! EVEN the thrift stores have items that are in MUCH BETTER condition than them!!! WHAT A HUGE DISGRACE FOR A LARGE COMPANY LIKE THEM!!! SHAME ON THEM!!!

  8. Allyssa

    This is awful. When I was traveling, I tried on a romper I loved at F21, but there was no tag on it. So I went back to the display and grabbed my size with a tag. I traveled back home across the country. I went to go put on the romper and there was no button hole for the second button. So I had a gaping hole in my chest. I didn’t have a receipt, so I tried calling customer service (I only wanted an exchange.. not my money back). They told me they can’t without my receipt number. I proceeded to call the store so they could look up my receipt number. I had my credit card statement, the date, the item number, any info they needed and they said the computer was having problems so they could not get me the number. The customer service basically told me too bad and when I said this is the worst customer service I have ever experienced, they had no manners. “It’s company policy” was all they could say. Yeah, maybe if I changed my mind, didn’t like the item or something. It was DEFECTIVE.

    Forever 21 has the worst customer service. A girl I know that works there ended up exchanging it for me (something customer service told me was “impossible” without a receipt).

  9. Tracey

    I will pay for something that is ripped or torn BUT it better be super marked down. I can work with a fixable skirt for $2 – $5 at F21 but $10 for something unsalvageable? Why is that makeup still $10? Mark it down so you can get rid of the stuff.

  10. Allie

    I actually haven’t seen anything as damaged and destroyed as the pictures you showed in any of the stores I’ve been to. Plenty of shops sell items for less if they’re damaged. I was just at Pier 1 today and they were selling an item for half price because there was a chip in it.

  11. Suze

    So the Forever 21 you visited is this way, oh wahhhhhh

  12. Hey girl, I get it, I TTTOOOOTTAAALLLLAAAYYY get it. I worked there for about a year. I was taken in as a weakened college student with debt promised $7.25 an hour (this was a few years ago in Texas). Shifts are long, very long, most days I worked the closing shift where we would stay long after the mall closed cleaning up the wreckage. I say this all comes in full circle – they don’t get a shit about what they put out, pay their workers poorly, attract some nutty consumers ( really I have stories) and therefore could not give a shit about merchandise and it begins again. Email me, I can fill you in to all the dirty undoings. Thankfully I will say it made me realize I had no place in retail and now am a successful professional skin therapist! Happy ending.

  13. Elle

    As a former employee of Forever 21, I saw this on a daily basis. If you tried to take any damaged merchandise off the floor you were threatened with a write up, worse place I’ve ever worked. Ever. I only stayed there as long as I did because I loved my coworkers and have made a few real friends from it. Hate isn’t a strong enough word to describe my work experience here.

  14. Katie

    I work at forever 21 in the Midwest and honestly you just got the wrong manager or something. In the store I work at we always damage things out when we realize there is a problem. Also you have to realize that there is a lot of different clothes and honestly yeah our clothes aren’the the best quality but you get what you pay for. Another thing is that the policy is we can give 10% off of the item if it is damaged. But if it is only sale it is tricky because in our computers we have to do a lot of cheating the system to take an extra discount off of something already discounted. So she probaby didn’t want to put in the work for your super cheap skirt. What you really have wrong though is that Forever 21 treats their workers bad. That is just a generalization. I have worked there for a year and love it. I am 19 and it is the best job I have ever had.

  15. Amber


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