FOREVER 21, that ubiquitous teen apparel and accessories chain, has gone and done it again, this time knocking out even the most sophisticated among us with its newest flagship store in Manhattan. The four story, 91-thousand-plus square feet of space is located smack in the heart of Times Square and has 151 fitting rooms, 32 cash registers and 500 employees. Projections are it will reel in some $100 million in sales the first year alone.
And, oh! The creative displays and marketing ingenuity are spectacular! The Times Square store is expected to go through merchandise with lightning speed, prompting an equally fast change in the visual aspect. Founder and CEO Don Chang says the store will be closed for six hours every day – from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m.– in order to facilitate a daily change in merchandise. It will remain open all the rest of the times.
PICKING UP SOME OF FOREVER 21’S MARKETING TECHNIQUES CAN BE A SMART IDEA. HERE ARE SOME GREAT MERCHANDISE CHOICES TO GET YOU STARTED:
IMAGES OF NEW YORK CITY are celebrated throughout the store, like a yellow taxicab, graffiti, Forever 21signs spelled out in Broadway lights, scaffolding (which seems to be pandemic in Manhattan), even yellow police tape.
Beyond that, the mannequins are truly fascinating. Some are faceless, some headless, some are remarkably realistic. Some are even dressed as street vendors, pedaling everything from apparel to Sabrette hotdogs.
With all this teen action, you’d think Forever 21 would be happy to just stay put and rack up sales profits from its existing customer base. But…not so! First of all the store is reaching out to customers considerably beyond the present teen base. “We have many styles for the 24 year-olds and even the 40-year-old. We provide styles for anyone who wants to appear trendy,” Chang said.
Chang’s daughter Linda, who is senior marketing manager, points out that a couple of research reports already indicate that 40 percent of Forever 21’s customer base is over 25.
A NUMBER OF stores- within-a-store designs have been developed to make it easier for customers to navigate the huge premises. One, for example, is called Soho, and features two chic mannequins around a table with shopping bags. A store for the fast growing men’s collection is dubbed Meatpacking District and features models wearing vintage outfits. The Stud room has walls covered with 3,000 gold studs and features apparel embellished with studs.
One accessory display centers on a New York apartment with shelving. A giant handbag with a gold chain points the way to accessories on the first floor. It is all just awesome! Colors throughout are bright, exciting and there is plenty of movement everywhere, with an emphasis on things that are very NOW.
Forever 21 has over 500 stores, with an eye on 1,000. The company contends that much of its success comes from the ability to target merchandise specifically at local communities. For example, the store uses much more sophisticated items in its new Times Square store.
FIND THE KIND OF FAST MOVING MERCHANDISE USED BY FOREVER 21 HERE, NOW: