Forever 21 = Fail 21.

November 17, 2010

Forever 21 has finally arrived to the UK and Ireland! The first European store opened in Birmingham, UK on November 12 and the second store opened one day later in Dublin, Ireland.

forever 21 - its here.

As you guys know, I have been incredibly excited for Forever 21 to finally reach our shores. I even applied for a job there. Well, my Forever 21 "career" has come to an end. I'm 100% happy with my decision. I don't want this to become a "why you should avoid working for Forever 21" post, so I will just say that I was unhappy with many things as were at least 10 other employees I spoke to. Anyways, moving on.
The Dublin store which is located in the Jervis Shopping Centre is the European flagship store and approx 69,000 sq ft. It is spread out over 3 levels and stocks all of the Forever 21 brands (Kids, HT81, Forever 21 plus, etc)

forever 21 opening day - dublin
(Forever 21 opening day - model Amber Le Bon and Do Won (Don) Chang, CEO open the Dublin store. Picture credit - Jervis)

The store is incredibly big, 3 floors stocked full of the latest Forever 21 fashions so you will find something to suit everyone.. except anyone who is over a size UK 12 or male.

forever21=fail21.

The mens section is laughable, as is the "plus size" section. Given that the store is quite large I expected a decent Forever 21+ (previously Faith 21) section but instead we have a rather small range consisting of a few pairs of jeans and knit sweaters. Don't even get me started on the fact that the "plus sizes" begin at UK 12. I'm sorry but I do not think that someone who is a size 12 should be shopping in a plus sized section.
New Look recently opened their biggest store (in the world!) in the unit next to Forever 21 and I have to say that although it is half the size of Forever 21 (and incredibly cramped) I prefer it. They don't class anyone under a size 18 UK as plus sized and their huge Inspire collection for plus sized gals goes up to size 26!

If you live outside of Ireland or the UK then don't worry because they have also launched a European website! (www.forever21.eu)
The website has plenty to choose from but again the plus size section is boring. There is a total of 9 items, all jeans and knit sweaters. Can't big (European) girls be fashionable too?

forever 21 plus (1)
forever 21 plus (2)


Unlike the regular Forever 21 line, it seems like they have mostly switched the currency sign for the plus sized line. This love & lace tee will cost you £14.80 but buying it in the USA would cost you $14.80 - meaning it's almost $10 extra to buy in the UK! I understand there are import/vat costs but not enough to justify THAT much of an increase. This cable knit extended cardigan will cost £28.80 of your hard earned money, but would cost just $29.80 to buy it Stateside, which converts to $45.73 at todays exchange rate.

I am sure that they will still do well in the Irish market, where stores like Topshop and their ridiculous Euro exchange rate dominate the high street but overall I am not impressed with the Forever 21 store OR the European website. I will not be going out of my way to shop in store. I will still shop from F21 online, but from the USA web-store instead. Not only will it work out cheaper including taxes and shipping, I will also have a much wider and nicer selection of clothes to pick from.

40 comments:

  1. Aaah, this is quite unfortunate. And those exchange rates are quite riduculous. I mean, considering how huge the store is, I'd think it would have a larger selection. I hope they do some regrouping, and redesigning. Anyway, great post, love.

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  2. This makes me sad and mad at the same time. I'm yet to visit the store in Brum, but now I'm thinking why should I freaking bother. I'm a size 12 and I do not see myself as plus sized at all, especially as I am 5'9 and it is a decent weight/shape for my height. I'm sorry you had such an awful time, I remember how excited you were for getting the job! Maybe apply to the New Look? Sounds better. Xxxxx

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  3. Wow... I can understand your frustration. I'd be ticked off at the selection provided by the plus/extended size line. I would also be ticked off at the slight overpricing of the clothing for the UK/Ireland Forever 21. And apparently, they disregarded my dislike of naming "Faith 21" as "Forever 21+." Well, whatever you're up to now... my best wishes are with you.

    johnbmarine.blogspot.com

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  4. I'm sorry things didn't work out for you there, but I'm glad you quit! No use trying to put up with whatever crap you were getting. :)

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  5. Plus sizes begin at a size 12? Actually, that's not that surprising considering the largest F21 goes in North America is a 29" waist. The prices are ridiculous though! I get annoyed at the Canadian prices (still more expensive than US$ even though we're nearly on par) but it's no where near as bad as the UK prices! Boo on F21.

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  6. I have never seen anything worth more than $40 at forever 21. I don't know if anything is even worth more than $30 so that exchange rate it insane.

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  7. Wow that ended quickly. Like I said I know many friends who ended up quitting here so I'm not too surprised with your decision. Sucks about it all. I remember back in the day the most expensive item use to cost $20 now they charge triple that for not so great quality items. And the forever plus is crap - left over ugly clothes!

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  8. i was so so disappointed in the plus range, it made me angry; which sounds like a strong word but it just takes the piss really.
    then i went and looked at the straight sizes and saw that the largest they did was a 12/14 and honestly thought it was a joke.
    pretty much every clothes retailer on the high st (apart from those that consider themselves more high end) go up to an 18!

    i'm pretty shocked you quit so quickly, especially after working so hard for the job and wanting so badly. but if it's what you had to do and you're cool then that's okay : )

    xxxx

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  9. wow.. that is.. sad!!!
    I was so excited for forever21 to come to Europe with all the pretty dresses I just drooled about (when the only way to import them was paying extra 75 euro shipping ans customs)... but this website is ridicules in terms of + sizes o.O Not one dress? Especially with ASOS finally offering a Non-UK-Europeans website with a huuuge + section. that is really really sad.

    I am also sorry to hear the job didn't turn out to be your dream job after all :(
    cheers, trish

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  10. If I was officially measured I come in around a 16 but I wear t-shirts in a bigger size because otherwise they ride up - if they class bigger than a 12 a "plus size" thats enough to put girls off being who they are.

    There was a girl in the supermarket the other day freaking out when her Mum said about getting a size 12 coat instead of a 10 so that it fitted over her school uniform. That's exactly what my Mum would have suggested and I would have gone with it rather than freaking out.

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  11. Maybe they don't have a hugh range of clothes because the shop is new and they are waiting to get more cloths. In Spain, Forever 21 is going to be open in Barcelona in 2011, we have to wait a bit to see this one.. i will tell ya. x

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  12. what the hell? i really can't believe they consider size 12 to be plus sized! thats actually outrageous. i was looking forward to them coming over here but so far the range available on the website and their questionable sizing has really let them down. i would probably visit if they had a store nearer to me but theres no way i'm making the pilgrimage to birmingham like so many others are planning.

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  13. Ah, I'm going to do a post on F21 as well. I don't know WHY everybody is getting so excited about it - the clothes are horrible and cheap looking! That is ridiculous about the plus size clothes being more expensive over here than in the US.. what a joke!

    Xx Adele
    www.thomassenland.com

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  14. Hey,
    I went to the new store in Dublin on Monday I think. Was really looking forward to checking it out. The store looks great and is huuuuuuge, but their plus-size section is a joke. Its very basic and does mainly one-coloured, stripey stuff. They have one floral dress and one floral blouse!! I also find the material is really thin and cheap. was a big disappointment!!! jewellery section is not bad and also quite cheap, might be competition for pennys, but apart from that, I wont be shopping there!! was very pleased with the new huuuuuge New Look besides Forever21 though!!! Am happy that we finally have one in the city-center now.
    Hope you find a new job soon!!
    Keep on bloggin, you are doing a great job!!
    Kerstin xxx

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  15. I have to say the worst thing about the whole shenanigan is that noone really knew that Forever21 were launching here. It wasn't mentioned in any magazines, on any websites, I only knew because Twitter people including yourself kept mentioning it, so basically the company have done a terrible job of promoting the launch because I can guarantee if I mention the shop to girls I know at uni they won't know what on earth I am talking about! You are so right! xox

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  16. I was planning a trip to dublin to check out this shop but if they think I'm plus size at size 12 and only have nine items of clothign for me I'll be giving it a miss!!

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  17. Very informative post. I had no idea there was such a limited "plus" selection in Forever 21. I think it's a little ridiculous as well that plus starts at a UK 12. Sorry your employment experience was so terrible. I know this opening was really hyped!

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  18. I looked on the sites the other day and found only a poor selection of plus-sized clothing, hoping they would add some more but it seems like they don't plan doing it.. And the exchange rate is really ridiculous!

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  19. Firstly, what the hell? How can size 12 be plus sized? Secondly, why aren't they providing more choice and variety to larger sizes? They've really messed up. I work for New Look and I advise you to get a job there sweet. It definitely sounds like a nicer company to work for.

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  20. Oh wow... I was so excited when I first heard about F21 coming to Europe - I had been in love with Forever 21 shop in NYC forever. But right now... disappointing :/ Well, let's give them some time, maybe they will correct their mistakes.

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  21. yea exchange rates are ridic but think about what the US pay for Topshop xxx

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  22. This is such a shame. I was so excited for your new job and now it turns out it didn't go so well. I'm sure you (and the other unsatisfied employees) will find something better! Its a bummer to hear about their small selection of Forever 21+, online and in stores. You would think they'd carry more items because of Forever's high demand. Whatever. Stick with F21 US, find another job, and you'll be fine. :)

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  23. no need to write that blogpost i had planned - you took the words right out of my mouth !

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  24. wow the clothes aint even that great quality for sucha a big mark up! everyone at home seems soo excited! maybe coz alot of people wnt realize what a rip off it is!!! well i dnt mind shopping in forever 21 here in the canada or the states but i defnintly wnt go near the place at home!

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  25. I live in Birmingham and visited ours the other day too- I really wasn't impressed. On the staff front, there were far too many, just standing around chatting to one another. The first item I noticed upon entering the shop was their aviator jacket. Every clothes shop has their versions so thought I'd check it out. The material was awful, worse than Primark's! And £40 too. The men's, kids and plus size sections were tiny compared with the rest of the shop, not even worth bothering with. If you don't live near Birmingham, don't bother going out of your way for a look

    x

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  26. Their website is disappointng and, for what it is, seems over priced, esp to those of us who've shopped with us in the US. I think time will tell for them over here but I haven't heard from anyone as yet who's been impressed. And as for a 12 being plus sized. Well hang on while I go eat my big furry Primark hat. Jebus.

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  27. love the honesty, the f21 arrival in the uk has definitely been anti climatic to say the least. i cannot believe their plus size starts at a size 12! thats ridiculous. what a dissappointment xx

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  28. Too bad for this whole experience. I hope you get another opportunity soon. And I appreciate your honesty about prices/clothes range. What a disappointment. Maybe they'll improve??

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  29. Ooh that's such a shame. I'm hoping a store will open near me so I can have a look, it sucks that you had a bad time working there.

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  30. This is actual so upsetting.
    Like you, I've been waiting for Forever 21 to come over here for & ages and often ordered offline.
    And I range from a size 12 up to anything really, so hearing that's the started "plus size" ranges is so haunting. Considering the huge debate over size 0 right now, and they do this. This is when the fact it is an American company shows. Such a dissappointment.

    xo

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  31. The f21 plus sized range actually starts at a UK size 16 and an american sized 12.. just thought Id point that out to you..

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  32. Hi Barbara
    Thanks for the comment! The plus sizes start at a UK 12 which can be confirmed here : http://www.forever21.com/UK/Product/Product.aspx?BR=f21&Category=faith_main&ProductID=2077413813 (click the size drop down menu)
    I was also told that plus size pants would begin at size 12 UK by one of the managers and lastly a few days before the UK site launched they had a banner saying something along the lines of "Forever 21+, for curvy girls size 12-20"

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  33. I actually like much more Topshop that F21.
    xoxo, Angie

    styleninfa.blogspot.com

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  34. This is such a shame.. I don't know if any of you have been to Forever 21 in the States (I recently shopped in the one in Times Square NYC) and the plus size section was amazing! They do do alot more variety of clothes but they don't seem to have travelled to the UK.. there seriously used to be pages and pages of items on the website but now it just auto-directs you to the UK site. Not good. In the US they have regular sized items and most tops go from XL to 3XL. I have got some really nice tops from there so I was really disappointed with their offerings! Maybe if enough curvy girls complain they will reassess? Anyhow.. love the site! :) x

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  35. that sucks that it didn't work out at F21! Also Asos.com which I love, does the same thing. They just change the monetary sign, not the value.

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  36. I am a 12-14 and I am considered plus size occasionally, I love the look of forever 21 but I wouldn't buy in the UK due to the exchange prices, Abercrombie is the same, £60 here for something and $60 over there. I can't believe you are a uk 16-18, you don't look it one bit, your legs are so slim... mine are tree trunks. I love what you are doing with your blog though x

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  37. I just moved from American to Portugal in November and have had a horrible time finding a plus size selection! I'm a US size 20-22. Back in the US there some great stores and I found some lovely things that fit (of course people are slightly bigger there). Last month I drove an hour out of town just to scope out the plus size section of H&M and found it atrocious! What is a fatshionista supposed to do in the EU?

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  38. @Sarah Online shopping is your friend! Especially if you're looking for fashionable clothes. Most of the stores that cater for plus sized girls where I live basically sell sacks in different patterns, ugh.
    I think a US 20-22 is UK 24-26? If so, definitely check out ASOS curve (www.asos.com) They cater for ladies up to size UK 26 and their clothes are trendy. They have great sales too! I know Evans sell plus size clothes too but I always thought their clothes were a little boring considering the price tag! New Look (Www.newlook.com) also have a plus sized section called Inspire.

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  39. There isn't a F21 in my town, but I have been in one a few times... the sizes are completely off! I have been frustrated shopping there for different reasons, but I occasionally find something I really love so I brave the crowds and search the racks.

    ~ Em K

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