Forever21 says it is the authority on fashion, and the go-to retailer for the latest trends, styles and the hottest deals.
Is this just some big talk, or does Forever21 really offer the trending styles of the fashion world? Also, are the offerings of Forever21 really available at low and affordable prices? Also, is Forever21 a legit fashion store that you can trust to fulfil orders satisfactorily, or is it a scam store that’ll make away with your money and leave you frustrated?
You are in the right place for answers to these questions. This Forever21 review will put the fashion store under the microscope in order to answer these questions and many others.
Forever21 – A quick history
The existence of Forever21 can be traced back to 1984 when the husband-and-wife duo Do Won Chang and Jin Sook Chang opened a 900-square-foot clothing store in Los Angeles. At the time, it went by the name Fashion21, but it wasn’t long before it changed name to Forever21.
Explaining why the brand is fixated on the number 21, it says “old people want to be 21 again, and young people want to be 21 forever”. Thus, Forever21 aims to provide fashion products that make you always look and feel 21.
Forever21 saw success as a mall-based fashion retailer, and it opened many stores all over the US. In 2001, Forever21 opened its first international store in Canada. Then in 2003, it went online with the launch of its website and online store – www.forever21.com.
Forever21 continued expanding; opening two dozen or more stores in a year, spreading into more international markets, as well as increasing their product line. Forever21 rose to global prominence, becoming a fast fashion powerhouse known for low-priced trendy offerings for women, men and children. Its mission is to bring you the coolest and trendiest looks at affordable price point. Whether that be what’s hot in street fashion, what’s hot on the fashion runways, or what’s currently flattering the bodies of your favourite celebs, Forever21 wants you to be able to quickly get these without breaking the bank.
What happened to Forever 21?
Forever21 peaked around 2015 when it brought in around $4.4 billion in sales. However, just over 3 years after, fierce competition brought upon it an uncertain future.
Forever21 was able to ride the storm by a restructuring effort that saw it greatly reduce its footprint – it closed some US stores and downsized others, while also closing virtually all its stores in international markets.
While closure of stores brought questions about whether Forever21 was going out of business, it definitely did not go out of business. Forever21 is still very much in the forefront of fast-fashion.
Can Forever21 still be trusted?
Of course! Forever21 has always been, and remains a legit fashion store. Apart from having operated for about 37 years, it was incorporated in 1987 and meets relevant legal requirements.
Though Forever21 has greatly reduced its footprint, it is still a leading mall-based fashion retailer (at least in the US where it currently operates about 408 stores across 43 States). Its online store is also doing well, as it continues to fulfil both domestic and international orders.
What Products does Forever21 offer?
Forever21 is a shopping destination to buy anything fashion, from apparel to related accessories. The main menu in the website arranges Forever21 products into the following categories: Women, Plus + Curve, Premium Jeans, Accessories, Swim, Activewear, Men, Girls, and Sale.
Each category holds a host of products. For example, in Women, Jeans, Accessories, Swim, Activewear, and Men, you’ll find the following products.
|Women||Clothing: Tops, Dresses, Rompers + Jumpsuits, Matching Sets, Graphics Tees, Hoodies, Bottoms, Shorts, Jeans + Denim, Sweaters + Cardigans, Jackets + Outwears, Lingerie + Lounge, Activewear, Swimwear|
|Jeans||Skinny Jeans, Mom Jeans, Curvy Jeans, Boyfriend Jeans, Fashion Denim, Ripped and Distressed Jeans, Upcycled Jeans, Shorts + Skirts|
|Accessories||Accessories: Shoes, Jewelry, Bags+ Backpacks, Hair Accessories, Hats, Hoisery + Socks, Belts, Sunglasses + Readers, Home + Tech, Scarves + Gloves, Protective Masks Shoes: Heels, Sandals, Wedges, Sneakers, Flip Flops, Boots, Booties, Flats, Slippers, Wide Width Jewelry: Earrings, Necklaces, Body Jewelry, Bracelets Make Up: Tools, Eyes, Face, Lips, Minis, Gift Sets + Kits, Nails Skincare: Masks, Moisturizers, Treatment + Serum, Cleansers + Toners + Exfoliators, Eyecare, Sun care, Bath + Body, Tools, Minis|
|Swim||Women’s Swimwear: Mix & Match, Bikini Tops, Bikini Bottoms, One-Pieces, Swim Cover-Ups, Denim Shorts Men’s Swimwear: Swim Trunks, Tanks, Men’s Accessories Kid’s Swimwear: Shorts, Tanks, Dresses + Rompers Swim Accessories: Sandals + Shoes, Sunglasses, Hats, Sun care, Jewelry, Hair, Bags + Backpacks, Scarves|
|Activewear||Tops, Sports Bras, Bottoms, Shorts, Jackets + Hoodies, Matching Sets, Accessories|
|Men||Clothing: Graphic Tees, Tops, Sweatshirts + Hoodies, Jeans + Denim, Bottoms, Shirts, Jackets + Outerwear, Sweaters + Cardigans, Activewear + Athletic, Shorts, Swimwear|
Forever21 agrees that looking good does not mean you should break the bank, so it promises to bring you the most up-to-date styles at affordable price points.
Its listings show that it lives up to its affordable-pricing promise. For example, from form-fitting mini dresses that’ll flatter and hug your curves to luxurious velvet dresses, the dresses prices range from $17.99 to $43.99. Also, Tops start from as low as $3.99; and when shopping shoes, sneakers are available around $14.99, and many elegant Heels are available for $24.99 – $27.99.
Forever21 Promos and Discount Codes
So that its offerings are cheap as it promises, Forever21 floats numerous promos and promo codes. These promos shave off some percentage from the prices of merchandise, allowing you to buy them below the listed price.
For example, when preparing this review, Forever21 had 15 time-limited Special Offers, which included the following:
- Weekend Steal: 40% – 60% off select Swim, Shorts, and Sandals
- BMSM offer: use promo code BMSM15 to get 15% off orders all orders (no minimum), use promo code BMSM to get 20% off orders of $65 or more, or use promo code BMSM30 to get 30% off orders of $85 or more
- SMS offer: sign up for SMS and get 20% off your next order of $50 or more
- Organically grown cotton offer: buy any 3 organically grown cotton styles, and receive 1 organically grown cotton style for free
- Free Express Shipping offer: use promo code EXP75 at checkout and get free Express Shipping to the addresses in the 48 continental US States (minimum order requirement = $75 or more)
There’s also a dedicated Sales page which lists all discounted merchandise. Shopping there, you can find items with prices slashed by up to 80%.
Ordering from Forever21 online store
Forever21 allows customers to check out as Guests, so you do not need to register before placing an order. However, registering keeps you billing and shipping addresses on file, saving you time when placing future orders. Should you choose to register, the process is free, fast, and simple.
Placing an online order in the Forever21 online store is not different from placing orders in other online fashion stores. Simply find what you want by browsing the product categories, select them into your shopping cart, proceed to checkout and provide the requested information to place your order.
Once an order is placed, it cannot be modified or cancelled. Forever21 explains that this is because it immediately shifts into gears to ensure that you receive your order as quickly as possible. So, you’ll want to review your order before submitting it.
The payment methods that Forever21 supports are:
- American Express
- Amazon Pay
- Forever21 Gift Cards, E-Gift Certificates, and Store Credits
AfterPay is a financing option that increases your buying power by allowing you (if resident in the U.S.) to buy now and pay later over 6 weeks, interest-free. The supported payment methods are generic options that everyone should have no problem accessing. However, the available options are limited.
Shipping in Forever21 online store
The Forever21 online store fully serves the U.S. – it ships to all 50 United States, P.O. Boxes and APO/FPO addresses, and the U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). It also ships internationally to many countries of the world.
For domestic orders shipping to the 48 continental States, Forever21 provides Standard shipping, Express Shipping, and Next Day shipping.
|Shipping Option||Shipping Time||Shipping Cost|
|Standard Shipping||7 business days||$5.95 (but free for on orders of $50 or more)|
|Express Shipping||2 – 3 business days||$12.95|
|Next Day Shipping||Next day (for orders placed before 11am)||$24.95 (on orders of $0 – $74.99) $18.96 (on orders of $75 and more)|
For other domestic US orders, only Standard Shipping is available. It takes up to 5 – 9 business days when shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, and P.O. Boxes; it takes 5 – 13 business days when shipping to US Territories; and it takes up to 18 business days when shipping to US APO/ FPO addresses. The shipping costs depend on the order amount as follows:
|Order Amount||Shipping Cost|
|$0 – $25||$10.90|
|$25.01 – $49.99||$11.90|
|$50.00 – $100||$13.90|
|$100.01 – $150||$15.90|
|$150.01 – $200||$17.90|
Forever21 also offers the “Pick Up in Store service” which allows US shoppers within the 48 continental U.S states to ship their online orders to a Forever21 store closest to them for pick up. This is also free.
For international orders, there’s Standard Shipping (which takes 4 – 10 business days) and Express Shipping (which takes 2 – 7 business days). International shipping cost depends on factors such as number of items I order, weight of order, and destination country.
Amazingly, Forever21 offers free shipping for international orders. There’s free standard for orders of €50 or more; and there’s free Express Shipping for orders of €100 or more. However, the international free shipping offer applies to only select EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland (Republic of), Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, and Spain).
It is fine that Forever21 offers free shipping, even for international orders. It is also fine that the minimum order requirement to get free shipping is relatively low. So, shoppers will not be pressured into overspending to get free shipping. However, it is not cool that in some of the shipping options (like domestic Next Day shipping, and Shipping outside the continental States) the shipping cost increases as order total increases.
Forever21 Return and Refunds
Forever21 wants satisfied customers, so it allows for returns and refunds. It accepts returns if made within 30 days from the ship date. Items must also be returned unwashed, unworn, undamaged, and with all tags attached.
Domestic US orders can be returned by mail or to store, while international orders can only be returned by mail. Prepaid return labels are also provided to make returning items to Forever21 easy. If you are making the “Return” because the item sent to you is damaged, defective or wrong, Forever21 will be responsible for return shipping.
Refunds are made to original form of payment. For US orders returned, it can take 2 – 3 weeks for the refund to be credited to your account, and 1 – 2 billing cycle for the credit to appear on your statement. For international orders returned, it will take 4 – 6 weeks for the refund to be credited, and 2 – 3 billing cycle for the credit to appear on your statement.
How to contact Forever21
Forever21 supports three contact channels – Chat and Telephone.
- For Live Chat, the chat icon can be found easily be in-app or the website. After answering some preliminary questions, you’ll be connected with a support agent, and you’ll get live responses.
- For the telephone service, US customers can call the toll-free line 1-888-494-3837, while international customers can call 1-213-463-9173.
The support service is not available round the clock. Whether using the Chat service or the telephone service, support agents are only available between 5:00 am – 9:00 pm PST (Monday – Saturday), and between 5:00 am – 7:00 pm PST (Sundays).
General Opinion on Forever21
It is fair to say that Forever21 is still struggling to hit the heights of their peak years leading to 2015. This is reflected in the customers’ reviews of the company in virtually all the major platforms. For example:
- In Sitejabber, the overall rating of Forever21 is 2.6/ 5. In the 928 reviews posted, only 208 customers gave it a 5-star rating, while 516 customers gave it a 1-star rating.
- In Trustpilot, the overall rating of Forever21 is 1.4/ 5. Only 13% of the 1190 reviews posted gave Forever21 a rating of “excellent”, while in 68% of the reviews, the company is given a rating of “bad”
These below-average reviews show that many customers are dissatisfied with the service.
Some of the complaints mention receiving items that are of poor quality or not well-made. While this is unfortunately the case in some instances, there are many more customers who are satisfied with the quality of their Forever21 orders. Thus, Forever21 can do more in fixing this problem, the brand cannot be written off as a scam that rips off unsuspecting customers by collecting their money and sending them trash.
Some of the complaints mention late delivery. In our opinion, this is another area Forever21 should seriously tackle to provide better online service.
The most damning complaints are about Forever21’s “Return and Refund” policy. Some customers complaint about return request being rejected, others complaint about having to pay return shipping when Forever21 should be responsible, and so on. There are just too many complaints about Returns that it is easy to say Forever21 needs to look into their return policy.
Yet another very damning complaint is poor customer service. Customers complain about difficulty reaching a support agent, being kept on hold for long hours, rude support agents, unhelpful support agents, and so on. With so many other complaints, it is easy to see why customers will also add that the support service is unhelpful.
Our take on Forever 21
Forever21 is definitely a legit online store for fast fashion. On the whole, its merchandise is of fine quality, and its prices are relatively low and affordable.
With over 400 brick-and-mortar stores in the US, Forever21 is still a leading mall-based fashion retailer; and with a robust online store that ships to all US addresses as well as international addresses, Forever21 is pushing boundaries in online apparel retail.
True, Forever21 is not the shining star that it once was, it continues to deliver on its mission of chic cheap. True, there are more dissatisfied customers than we’ll like; but on the whole, Forever21 can still be trusted for your fashion purchase.
Forever21 Pros and Cons
- It quickly makes available trendy fashion styles
- Quality of merchandise is generally fine
- Prices are low and affordable
- It offers numerous great price-slashing deals
- It accepts Guest Checkout so you can place orders without registering and having your sensitive information stored
- Provides US shoppers “Buy Now, Pay Later” financing via AfterPay
- Ships to all US addresses, P.O. Boxes, US military addresses, and internationally
- Offers free shipping, even internationally, and with low minimum order requirement
- Offers free “Pick Up in Store” shipping option
- Supports Live chat and telephone which provides live responses when getting help
- Does not allow modifying or cancelling an order once it is placed
- Payment options are limited
- With some shipping options, cost increases as order total increases
- There are too many complaints about the Forever21’s Return policy and its customers’ support service