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.
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?”
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…
and this generally effed…
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.
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.
“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.
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, WTF?