Friday, January 20, 2012

Forever 21 in Hong Kong

by Venus

It's been rumored that a Forever 21 store will open in Hong Kong last year. After waiting for SO LONG without actually hearing much about it until recently, the store finally opened 2 days ago. Originally I was going to stop by the store that morning just before I head back to uni but unfortunately there was just so much going on in preparation for my review yesterday.

This afternoon I FINALLY got a chance to stop by with a friend to check out the new store located in Causeway Bay. Now honestly because it's the first Forever 21 store in Hong Kong, I expected a huge crowd in there, especially because a lot of high school students are already on their Chinese New Year break.

No I'm not going to be saying how great the store is, how you all must go and check it out asap, because that seriously is not how I felt about it. Here are a few honest opinions about the store:

  1. The location used to be a Giordano store and a Watsons, so I thought the Forever 21 store is going to be really big, awesome for some shopping. I know that the store will have 6 floors in total, and right now, only 3 levels are open while the rest is still under construction, BUT I did feel that each level was way smaller than I expected. There was a huge crowd yes, but the store was still small.
  2. Price is cheaper than H&M, a lot of the clothes are around the price range of 100-250 hkd which I think is more reasonable than H&M considering the quality of the garments.
  3. Another good thing is that I find the quality of their garments are better than I expected, better than most from H&M (obviously that does depend on different items, but in general it is better than what H&M has nowadays).
  4. The style of the clothes is not surprising at all, nothing particularly impressive or exciting.
  5. 80% of the store consists of tops and knitwear, I rarely find any bottoms or dresses or coats.
  6. I was the most excited about being able to purchase Forever 21 accessories and jewelry, however that fully disappointed me. There were only a few jewelry, which is poorly organized in the store. You can find them all over the place and I really wished that there was perhaps this one corner which is especially for jewelry and accessories so everything in that particular category can be reached and compared in the same place. Also there was only a very limiting collection of jewelry, I do understand that some have already been wiped out in the first 2 days, but overall there just wasn't enough choices.
  7. The MOST disappointing thing out of all, is definitely the changing rooms. I have to say, H&M has a WAY better system in terms of changing rooms. There are changing rooms in each level. I did not go to the ones on the second and third floor since the queue was much longer than the one on the ground floor. However, there are only FOUR changing rooms, yes FOUR, on the ground level. and the design of the ground floor changing rooms is incredibly strange. The doors basically face the rest of the stores in a way that, you feel like there isn't privacy at all. I would understand such design if the store was a really small one, but no, not this store. So therefore in the end I had to wait for about 35 minutes? 40? I seriously can't even remember, just to try on some clothes.
  8. So yes, the store is quite poorly designed, whether it's about the location of the escalator, the placing of garment racks, the organization of items.
  9. The plastic bag for your purchase looks exactly the same as ones from US. But wait, if you compare carefully, the ones in Hong Kong are actually much more sheer, so basically people can see into your bag of purchases. Well, I know it's not everyday people would stare at your Forever 21 plastic bag of garments, but then I simply felt the idea makes it quite cheap.
  10. I believe the company wanted to open before Chinese New Year since it's a perfect opportunity to have an opening just before this public holiday, and this time of the year a lot of people in Hong Kong go out to shop for new clothes, new accessories, new shoes, new everything, it's simply a perfect time to make profit that Forever 21 does not want to miss out. However, being in the store I had a feeling that they tried to place all 6 levels of items into 3, looking at how the garment racks are all placed, it's just not a very nice environment to shop in, whether or not there is a huge crowd, the garment racks are just too packed. And I did notice that some items can been seen everywhere. My friend mentioned that she sees a lot of the same items in all floors, here and there, probably because there just isn't a lot of different items at all.
  11. A lot of the items are only nice when you look at it on a hanger, after you try it on there's just something odd about it, usually the cutting. After trying out 6 items, in the end I only made purchase to one of them.

Well, I will definitely be going there again, and for those of you who haven't, there's no need to rush. In general the garments are of reasonable quality and the price is cheap, but the poor design of the store is very much a put off. Here's the address of the store: G/F, Capitol Centre, 5-19 Jardine’s Crescent, Causeway Bay. I think it will be better to check it out after Chinese New Year, and when more items are back in stock. Since there were a lot of people there, I did not snap any pictures of the store, but here's a photo from their facebook showing what the store looks like without people. I will show the top I purchased in the next haul post. For those of you planning to go during this holiday, I hope you have a better shopping experience than I had, I suggest you go earlier, the store opens during 10am-1am, and enjoy all your purchases.


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