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March 4, 2013

flash deal

I’ve been gainfully employed for some years now, having graduated from LSU sometime around 2004.  However, since I decided to return to school to pursue my lifelong dream of being paid to buy things, I’m pretty much broke. This is really difficult for me because I’m still buying things, just with way less money.  My situation is made worse by the fact that I can’t really say I’m a good shopper.  I never find anything on sale and somehow I never have the coupons and discounts that all my friends have on their iPhones to wave around at the sales associates.  So when Forever21, an inexpensive fast fashion retail chain opened in the Mall of Louisiana a few years back, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.

My experience in the physical store was pretty overwhelming and not in a good way.  It was huge, it was a mess, it was crowded, it was super bright and I couldn’t tell if the floors were really sparkling or if I was about to have a seizure.  My sister had to leave right away because she felt a pending anxiety attack. I felt there were things in that store that I wanted to buy but I couldn’t find them and also, I couldn’t open my eyes all the way to properly look for them.  So I decided to go the less satisfactory route (in terms of that immediate gratification thing) and shop online.

What a completely different experience.  Unlike to physical store, the website is simple and organized and aesthetically pleasing.  No overstimulation whatsoever.  I can sort the merchandise by garment type, sleeve length, newest, oldest, cheapest, and most expensive.  There are clear links to the sale items and I don’t have to dig around for anything. I know immediately if they have my size.  One of my favorite features of the site is that when you examine a particular item up close, it also shows you other coordinated things you might like.  I know that plenty other websites due this but Forever21 is really good at it. It only shows me a couple things at a time and I usually really do like them.  It cuts down my browsing time a lot-there are thousands of items available on the website. I could spend hours going through them all.

Like the online store, Forever21’s Facebook page is updated daily. Actually, the Facebook page seems to be updated hourly.  They post about the usual things one would expect like new arrivals, contests, and sales but they also post on the high fashion runway shows and where they got the design inspiration for some of their pieces. Those posts typically get me interested and browsing their page more often a status update about a discount for the weekend.

There are two suggestions I would offer about Forever21’s online store and they both involve how the merchandise is viewed.  When you view an item up close, it is shown on a model as part of a complete outfit, accessories and all. Unfortunately, the website doesn’t provide any information or links in regard to the other items displayed on the model.  I would also like have the option of sorting by color.  There are some colors I dislike and never choose. Also, I prefer all my clothing to be coordinated because I’m a night person and usually confused in the morning. I need to be able to wear whatever is directly in front of my face and not have to think about it.

Just a little aside, I have since verified that there are indeed some kind of sparkly flecks in flooring of the physical store.






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