Fantastic and fashionable clothing at prices that the regular shopper could truly afford – that was the vision of Forever 21 founders Do Won and Jin Sook Chang when they opened their first store in LA in 1984. Since then – when the store was still called Fashion 21 and catered mainly to middle aged ladies – Forever 21 has expanded to become a chain of large department stores located all over the world and a favorite of young fashionistas who want to look great but do not have the money to pay the prices other department stores charge.
Working at Forever 21
Most employees in Forever 21 stores who want to work in sales begin as cashiers and as stock clerks. In addition to being able to provide courteous service Forever 21 expects its sales associates to be very familiar with the stock and able to advise customers about their purchases if they ask for help.
Many junior sales clerks in the flagship stores are younger women who are very interested in fashion and are also considering a career in retail. Like many large companies and corporations Forever 21 does prefer, when possible, to promote from within so a career with the company in any of its stores does offer the opportunity for growth for more ambitious people.
The Online Forever 21 Application and Forever 21 Job Fairs
If you go online to the Forever 21 career website you will find extensive listings of all the positions currently available in your area. You can choose to apply for a specific position or to submit an application for any opportunities that may come up in the near future.
Completing the online Forever 21 application does require some real thought as not all of the questions are quite the standard ones found in many job application forms. You are asked to add a one line description of your experience at the beginning of the form, a sort of tagline, so you will have to give some thought to that before submitting your application as it will be one of the first things hiring managers will see.
The company also looks for people who have a genuine interest in the fashion world so there are places that you can describe your basic experience with fashion and where your interests lie within the industry. Once again this is something that you need to give some thought to so when you sit down to complete the online Forever 21 application make sure that you have plenty of time and will not be interrupted.
In addition to offering candidates the chance to apply for the positions of their choice online the Forever 21 company also holds regular job fairs at their retail locations where ‘open applications’ can be made on the spot. A listing of the times and dates of these events can also be found on the employment section of the website.
Facts and Figures About Forever 21 You May Not Have Known
- Founders Do Won and Jin Sook Chang were born in South Korea and did not come to the US until they were 18, settling in California. They were just 22 when they opened their first store, then called Fashion 21, in the Highland Park district of Los Angeles.
- Forever 21 opened its first mall based store in 1989 in California. In the years that have followed Forever 21 stores have become a staple of top tier malls all over the US.
- Century 21 is still very much a family run business. ‘Mr and Mrs Chang’ as they are referred to by employees are still at the head of the board and the couples daughters both joined the business as teens and now hold executive positions after having graduated from college.
- Forever 21 continually scouts for new designers and when they find pieces that they really like they move very quickly – often getting the item into stores in under a month.
- The self labeled chain has never been shy about the controversy it sometimes causes. A number of well known designers have, over the years, accused Forever 21 designers of copying their work but no case has ever succeeded in a court of law yet.
- Even the store’s shopping bags are controversial at times. Each of the yellow bags has ‘John 3.16’ printed on the bottom, referring to the famous Bible verse.
- When the tsunami hit Japan many companies donated a portion of their sales to the relief efforts. Forever 21 however donated every penny made through online sales worldwide for one day to the cause and promoted the cause heavily in their stores for customers to donate as well.
- Although they now have 500+ stores across the world the original store is still open and operating under the name it was given when the Changs opened it – Fashion 21.