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Forever 21’s expected bankruptcy showcases the negative side of online shopping

Forever 21’s expected bankruptcy showcases the negative side of online shopping

Forever 21’s expected bankruptcy showcases the negative side of online shopping
September 13
19:02 2019

One of America’s most popular retail stores may be coming to an end.

Forever 21, a shop known for trendy clothing at cheap prices, has considered filing for bankruptcy. According to Forbes, sales have dropped around 20 percent since last year. Forever 21 would be another contributor to the “retail apocalypse.” The term “retail apocalypse” is used to explain numerous retail stores closing due to a large decrease in sales.

Being a former Forever 21 sales associate, I learned two things. It was a place where teens loved to spend most of their time at and a store that prides itself on discounted items.

It is sad to see how difficult it is for businesses to thrive when online stores such as Amazon, Fashion Nova, SHEIN and Zappos have dominated online sales.

Forever 21 is a privately owned family business founded by Jin Sook and Do Won Chang. After they immigrated from South Korea, the company hit the ground running and took off in 1984. Unfortunately, the Chang’s net worth has fallen from $3 billion to $1.6 billion in the following years since the store’s opening.

Many mall tenants have cleared house due to their unsuccessful businesses. Landlords are struggling trying to find spaces to fill in for their leases which could then, in turn, lead to the end of malls entirely if this issue persists.

Frankly, retail stores should not go out of business. Some of the older generations may prefer to purchase their clothes in-store since it gives them a proper visual of how their clothes look. It also skips the shipping and handling fees, which is something that often still makes me re-consider my online purchases. In addition to this, retail stores are more convenient and let you avoid the hassle of having to wait a certain amount of business days to receive your order.

With one quick scan, the item will be directly in your hands at the time of purchase.

Also, what happens to the people that do not have access to the internet or the people who do not have access to a credit card to shop online? Although online shopping sounds tempting, it is still important to give business to retail stores as well. Closure of retail stores could leave thousands of people without a job and reduce access for those who can only shop in-store.

According to CNBC, Lowe’s laid off over a thousand of its employees to buy into third-party companies, leaving workers who do maintenance and assembly out of a job.

Retail stores thrive because of their employees. With the potential closures of many big retail stores like Forever 21 and the layoffs of thousands of employees, I am not sure how they will be able to be saved.

New technology has taken over throughout the decade and has made a tremendous change in today’s consumer habits, which unfortunately could lead to big names like Forever 21 to potentially shut its doors.

It’s understandable if you want to point the blame at the big corporations for their greed and their lack of consideration, but also think about how many other people could be affected by it as well.

Even if you don’t shop at Forever 21, retail stores still need your support because they are quite literally dying at the hands of online shopping.

Featured Illustration: Olivia Varnell

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Davie Nguyen

Davie Nguyen

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