Forever 21 is one of the most popular fashion chains among millennials. With more than 550 stores worldwide and sales upward $3.5 billion, it’s a big player in the retail world. I chatted with a twentysomething employee about working at one of the largest and most hectic stores for young women.
What were some of your responsibilities?
I worked on the floor and basically I was just refolding clothes and bringing the clothes from the fitting room back out onto the racks in the store. And just like picking everything up off the floor and cleaning.
How messy did the store get? Forever 21 is a pretty huge store, does it get crazy?
Yeah it’s crazy. You’d leave the room, cause they have different rooms. So you would leave and go to another one. You’d come back and it was a mess. You’d have to pick everything up off the ground and fix the hangers. The guys section was extremely messy too because people wouldn’t really go there a lot during the day, so when we went to clean it at the end of the day, it was crazy.
How much did you like working there overall?
I liked the employees that I worked with. But overall, I hated actually working there. It was just so unorganized. The stores close at 9pm. But by the time we got everything cleaned, it would be almost 11pm by the time I would get out. The managers forgot I was a student that has homework and class too. They would schedule me anyway, so it was hard to tell them, ‘I can’t do this, I have work to do’.
Have you ever had to deal with rude customers?
People would get mad that they couldn’t find anything or they didn’t know where something was. And I was like, ‘Well I don’t really know either,’ because the store is so big.
When I was there, every six months they would change the rooms. I remember when I was there it was celebrities. They had a Mary Kate Olsen room and a Rihanna room. But like you don’t really know specifically what those people would wear, so I think if they just separated it like pants in this room, skirts in this room. Then, it would be easier for people to find what they want.
What is one of the biggest misconceptions of working at Forever 21?
It’s not an easy environment. It’s such a crazy store. I wanted a job so badly and when I saw they were hiring, I thought, ‘Oh this is great.’ I thought I would be folding clothes or working the register. I didn’t really think how hard it would be. But eight hours on your feet and constantly running back and forth picking things up or moving clothes back…that’s a lot more hard work than I thought. And I just felt at times, for the amount of stuff we did, only getting minimum wage was hard.