Forever 41 is a clothing and lifestyle retailer for people who grew up in the eighties wishing they were growing up in the sixties and are glad they aren’t growing up now. Tapping into this nostalgia for feeling nostalgic, Forever 41 espouses a retail attitude that is fun without being silly, serious without being boring, and edgy without staying up too late. At Forever 41, we provide fashion makeovers for those who don’t know what to make of themselves.
Pants, Like Your Dreams, May Require Alterations
The Forever 41 Customer
Our customers are people in relationships or people who wish they were in relationships or people who were in relationships but are no longer in relationships but might get back into a relationship if they could track down that person they were once in a relationship with back in the day, although, let’s get real, if they wanted to be tracked down, don’t you think they’d be on Facebook by now?
Forever 41 customers aren’t conservatives; they’ve merely developed common sense.
The Forever 41 woman is not trying to look like her daughter, rather her daughter is tired of looking at that outfit.
The Forever 41 man has nothing better to do.
Design and Customer Experience
The Forever 41 shopping experience is all about comfort, and by that we mean there are lots of sofas. Even the escalator to men’s wear (Whatever 41) has sofas (the Sofalator41® – patent pending). Store lighting is cheery but not too bright – not Target glare but not coffee shop murk either, more like your higher-class Applebees.
Television screens display an endless loop of John Hughes movies while speakers play cutting-edge contemporary music, like Wilco. Definitely no Top 40 because today’s music no longer has melody, which is something our target customer read somewhere, probably on Salon.com.
Also: the music is not too loud.
The smell of Forever 41 is a combination of Saturday morning breakfast cereal and notarized documents.
The walls at Forever 41 are lined with books that our customers have read or, nodding knowingly, pretend they have.
Customers arriving at a Forever 41 outlet are welcomed be smiling, friendly greeters who fill the customers with assurance that they are still attractive. While the company cannot discriminate by age in its hiring practices, the greeters should ideally be young, but not creepy young, if you know what we mean.
Forever 41 stores include a convenient coffee shop, free eye exams and compassionate career counselling.
With an emphasis on quality and comfort, all Forever 41 apparel is manufactured in countries that our customers are pretty certain don’t have sweatshops, although they could probably do some research, but who has time for that when these prices are so low?
Forever 41’s GroanUp line of professional work wear says, “I’m really a 24-year-old at heart and I’m wearing these squaresville fuddy-duds ironically, though secretly I love them.”
But the core of the Forever 41 line is our “Let Yourself Go” line of casual wear, including a full array of comfortable, form de-enhancing cotton and fleece variables, perfect for grocery shopping, picking up the kids from school or just spending another Friday night in front of the television the way you once asked someone to shoot you if they ever saw you doing. Here are just a few of our many sloganned baggy T’s now available:
Finally, Forever 41 features a selection of footwear, including our Rationalization shoes for men, and for the ladies, Letdown Stilettos with their mystery-fibre heels that ask the question, “What’s the point?”
At Forever 41, every customer is as special as he was told he was growing up. The Forever 41 experience is great, just not as great as you had hoped.
P.S. Should have said “Gravity Ass.”
Wow. You’ve really thought a lot about this. 🙂
When you’re moping on a bench in a mall while your family shops, you have time.
Thanks. It’s one of those pieces that I wish I had more time to think about. But then, for what it is, I’ve probably thought about it too much already.
It’s all good. Wish you could pop by for dinner tomorrow night.
What’s on the menu?
Something with cheese so we can snicker about fungus.
I like mushrooms so we can sing, “We Are the Champignons.”
And we’ll go on fighting, til the end.
Ah, a post inspired by the retail experience. The humor is very good – however, that being said, I think you may have missed the exhuberant experience as it is related by women engaging in retail therapy. Your post makes me laugh at myself and yet makes me want to shop about as much as I want to sweep the floor.
Maybe it’s the wrong store for you. Forever (ahem) 51 maybe? 🙂
Bwahahaha! Oh, you flatterer! I haven’t been called 51 for half a decade. That being said there is truth in your punning – one apparently has to choose the correct store to create shopping excitement – so i am told, actually more than once in the hardware store by an annoyed spouse. How anyone can fail to be excited by a Bushwacker 2000 complete with an optional maxi-chipper and mulching attachment, I’ll never know.
I like hardware stores because I imagine all the things I could do but never will. Same thing for book stores. Weirdly, I also like office supplies stores…
Pinterest works like hardware stores. In fact there is the Pinterest41 blog available under fashion, diy, crafting and gluten free eating. Maybe even under partying, but it’s not Tuesday yet, so unable to motivate myself to search.
Interesting, but I already assumed Pinterest was, perhaps not Forever 41 but definitely 31.
I’ll order a “used to be a liberal” in large, but also XL for when I inevitably gain more weight next year. I also suggest if you could add to the lower back part of the T-shirt some Biofreeze, since at 41, we start throwing our lumbar out by simply existing (or in my case, sneezing twice). If you’re 82, is it allowed to just layer two Forever 41 shirts? Or will you in future decades come out with a line of windbreakers and Mr. Rogers-inspired cardigans since old people seem to feel as though a cold front is upon them like a black cloud? Nicely done. And I don’t know if you have Ross Dress for Less stores where you live, but I go to them once a week. And you have to market there.
At 82, Forever 41 is wishful thinking, I suspect. And I had sneeze spasms!
We have Rossy stores, which are glorified dollar stores. Sounds about right.
I am happy to report that at first I was congratulating myself for not having bothered to look inside the store since they opened an outpost at the local mall. After I realized that this wasn’t exactly the same chain, I was even more satisfied with my choice.
The real Forever 21 stores make me feel resentful. Of course, I’ve only ever gone in with my children, and they were spending my money, so perhaps that’s why.
My avoidance of the store may have something to do with avoiding the resentment. I do believe I’ve seen the label on some of my youngest daughter’s clothes.
Loved this post, Ross. But please tell me that Forever 41 will have lay-away. That should give me enough time to get my daughter out of Hot Topic…
We don’t have Hot Topic in Canada, but we do have access to this catchy tune:
I’ve given it a lot of thought and still can’t decide which is worse.
OK, when is forever 41 expanding to Germany 😉 Do they take mail-order from Europe? And do they have PLUS-sizes???
Our sizes are normal, somewhat normal and judgement free.
Judgement free would suit me just right 😉
You have cornered the market, Ross, for those who still want to care but can’t AND those who can’t care but still want to. Beautiful T’s. Ironically hip AND hiply ironic. Gravity Ass. Bingo.
I wanted to put “gravity ass” across sweatpant butt but couldn’t manage.
It would be too droopy to read, right?
I’d probably shop there, but I wouldn’t tell anyone about it.
“Oh, I shop at Forever 39…”
Or as it is also called, “Forever thirty-something”.
In writing this, it occured to me that the cast of “thirtysomething” is now sixtysomething.
I have no idea what this “thirtysomething” you’re referring to. Does this mean I’m too old or too young to know?
Ok, technically I’m not too young to have seen it – but I definitely wasn’t within the ABC’s broadcast range at that time.
Ah yes. Forgot…
You jammed a lot of funny lines into this prospectus. Now if they only did that in real life …
Is it just me or does “prospectus” sound like a gynecological tool? Nothing to do with your comment, just thought of it.
I feel old. The music not being too loud appealed to me the most. That was the nail in the coffin. When I was a kid I sat in front of a gigantic stack of Marshall amps at a Rush concert in Cleveland and thought nothing of it. My ears rang for a week afterwards and I thought that was a compliment. Like a giant belch after a good meal. Now, I complain that the damn TV is too loud. What happened to me? Forever 41, here I come.
Hardcore scars, man. I have a friend who goes to shows (isn’t that a Flaming Lips lyric…) and puts in earplugs. I understand why but then I think, “Then why are you here?” And this is why my ears ring constantly.
This is my new motto- Pants, Like Your Dreams, May Require Alterations
Does Forever41 have clothes with pet hair resistance fibers, for those who want to care but can’t?
Most come pre-haired. Let Yourself Go!
This is a great business plan, Ross, and you might even try to sell it.
Although, personally, I’m suspicious of any store that has a mission statement longer than “We sell clothes and maybe other things, too”. Ok, I’ll also tolerate “we won’t make your credit card info too easy to get stolen”.
Many, many hours have been dedicated to mission statements. Respect!
Ohhh, Ross… Tag, you’re it! I would like to nominate your blog for the One Lovely Blog Award. I hope you are able to accept. To view the rules and the appropriate logo to post on your blog, please see my blog here: https://amapofcalifornia.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/one-lovely-blog-award/
Love the Sofalator41®! That would be good in airports too.