Open Letter To Forever21 – Follow Up

Dear Forever21, from a plus size woman // fatgirlflow.com

In my last post, I wrote an open letter to Forever21 about their plus size section and what I felt was lacking in the shopping experience in their stores. Today, I received a response from their social media team (I think. There’s truly no way of knowing if it is actually Forever21, as the appropriate way to respond would have been via email). It read:

Hi Corissa,

Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention – we will be looping in the right departments to make sure this situation is addressed with the store. We can assure you that this is not an accurate representation of our brand’s visual merchandising and view of any of our customers. We are investing greatly in our Plus Size Collection this year and are always trying to improve the assortment and merchandising. In fact, we just launched our Plus Active collection and noticed that you wrote about it in your “Where to Shop Plus Size Activewear” article – thank you! We are also excited to announce that we have launched a @Forever21Plus Instagram profile to bring our most amazing content and new arrivals front and center. Thank you so much for your feedback and we genuinely appreciate you as our customer.

-Forever 21

So here’s the deal, I actually appreciate this response, it’s just not effective. And it’s the kind of “shhhh, that’s not really what’s going on” kind of response that myself and others get from plus size companies all too often. I am certain this isn’t the first that Forever 21 has heard of these problems and concerns, because… well just look at all the comments on the open letter. People are all too familiar with the store’s practices and it seems that our voices are not often acknowledged.

What do we do next? Well, we keep talking about it. We keep writing to them and expressing how alienating and hurtful this kind of treatment is. We follow the instagram that they mentioned, and let them know when things aren’t going well, and demand they carry plus sizes in their stores. All of their damn stores.

I want to believe that companies care about their consumers. I really do. I want to give them an opportunity to prove it. Let’s make that happen.

ps- It’s pretty amazing that we all came together to share that post. So often people like to say that internet activism is in vain, and it’s important to acknowledge that your words, your participation, matters. A lot. Thank you all so much!

fatgirlflow.com

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  • Milaxx
    January 22, 2016 at 3:53 am

    Great job!
    I rarely shop my local brick and mortar F21 because of similar conditions. However, the next time I am in the mall I will be taking photos and sharing!

  • Allie
    January 22, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    I posted the link to your first letter on the Forever 21 facebook, along with my own comments (basically agreeing with you). They replied with the exact same comment, just a different name and without the part about the active line. I agree with you about the type of response it is. I would have liked to have heard exactly how they plan to address this. What are they going to do to change the layout of their stores, when are they going to put plus sizes in all their stores (none of the ones in my city – a big city at that – have them), how are they going to promote the line, etc. This just seems like a form letter they send to all complaints, with blanks filled in.

    • fatgirlflow
      January 23, 2016 at 5:08 am

      that’s really unfortunate. Damn, I was hoping for more.

      • Kinddie
        March 30, 2016 at 2:14 pm

        Me too, I wear what would be a 8x and I can’t find anything cute in stores, it all has to be ordered or made.

  • Moni Longe
    January 23, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Are they saying that you should exercise to not be plus size? It seems like a slick sideways comment that people tend to make when fat people have a concern. If you exercise then you could shop with the rest of everyone. Maybe I’m looking too deep into it, but instead of really addressing your problem they started talking about some activewear.

  • Alex
    January 27, 2016 at 1:34 am

    Have you been to Maurice’s? I don’t know if there is one near you but they just opened in my home state and have regular and plus sizes – stylish clothes and excellent service.

    • fatgirlflow
      January 27, 2016 at 4:50 am

      yes! They do GREAT job at merchandising their stores and including plus sizes!

  • Deneial
    September 5, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Hi,
    While trying to confirm via website that Forever21 had added a plus size section at another location, I came across your open letter. While reading it, I was trying to imagine the last Forever 21 I went to and if it was like you had described the store you patroned. Have to agree w/you thinking back it was on the first floor but in a corner. However, I will admit clothes were neatly in order. With that being said,, today I visited Forevet 21 in Downtown San Francisco and walked to the back where I last knew the plus sizes located.. Well, to my dismay not only are the plus clothing moved to the 3rd floor it is exactly as you described your experience at the store you went to.. Not only were the clothes not coordinated, it almost looked like a rummage sale.. I might be exaggerating on the rummage sale look a little but clearly I’m not exaggerating on how the plus size area looked..The clothes there looked back dated, unmaintained. I picked up a few blouses that had stains..Seriously, no lie.. I saw a dressing room sign that had a clothes rack blocking it with an overflow of clothes not only on the rack but a pile thrown on top of the rack.. I said all that to say, there has been no change/improvement from Froever 21. My opinion it’s worse.

    The plus size section has moved from the first floor where there is more visibility to the 3rd floor with minimum visibility.. I was there over 40 minutes and not one staff asked me if I needed assistance. Matter of fact, I didnt see a staff member excluding the custodian who was mopping. He was pleasant. Other than that, nobody. Your letter was in the back of my mind all the time I was desperately trying to find something. Bottom line, this store for the plus size is not worth wasting your time..

    After reading your letter and experiencing it today for myself, Forever 21 will only be a choice during desperation and that will only be online not in the store..

    Thank you for bringing this to my & others attention..

    DM