Browsing Time: FOREVER 21

17 Jul

With adverts for the first Forever 21 store in London currently adorning buses and Tube platforms, and the eagerly awaited opening in under a fortnight, I thought I’d take a look at the “phenomenon” (their word, not mine!) that is F-21.

The brand’s first European store opening last November in Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre.  With a whopping 53,000 sq ft spread across 3 floors, the store dominates the shopping centre. And with plans for equally huge stores set for Lakeside, Bluewater and Stratford already in place before the Oxford St store has served a single customer, this brand is clearly full of confidence in its British market.  But ask a handful of fashion lovers if they’ve heard of Forever 21 and it is likely only the Transatlantic holidaymakers will be familiar with it.

The core appeal of the brand is that it’s cheap (on a parr with Primark) and there is a LOT to choose from.  Each design is delivered only once, so there are no ‘bestsellers’, only small amounts of thousands of different lines.  It is a time-consuming shopping experience, as there are rails and rails to rummage through, though you may be rewarded with some hidden gems.  Plus the added appeal of lines being so limited means you are less likely to bump into 3 other women wearing the same dress as you on the way to the pub as if you’d bought it in Primark.

The value price-point is not reflected in the design of the store though, with grandiose stucco ceilings, chandeliers and sequins galore.  I took these photos at the Birmingham store last week:

In comparison to the interiors, the windows are a real let-down. Totally bland:

With a much more modestly sized unit on Oxford St, but a real need to impress the fickle fashionistas of the Capital, I’m looking forward to seeing what F-21’s got up its sleeve.  The phenomenon hits on 27th July, will you be there?

Further Reading:

The Gospel According to Forever 21 – the Guardian

Fashion News – Retail Week


One Response to “Browsing Time: FOREVER 21”


  1. The new look New Look « Wowsville - March 22, 2012

    […] and minimal. I imagine they have taken a lot of inspiration from Forever 21 (read my post on F21 here) but in some areas felt more like Dorothy […]

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