North Carolina Newspapers

    COLUMN April 21 200S S
Forever XXI: Helmet, Kneepads, and
Map Required
Sarah Servie
Staff Writer
Forever XXI, the
trendy retail store for the
fashion-forward, opened
recently at the Crabtree
Valley Mall. Rumors
of the store's arrival in
Raleigh began circulat
ing early in December of
last year. The hype sur
rounding the opening of
Forever XXI at this new
and convenient location
seems almost unreal.
The store is jam-packed
with colorful, stylish
clothes at affordable
prices for both women
and men. Mannequins
dressed in chic ensembles
congregate in the huge
storefront windows and
seem to wave custom
ers inside. Once inside,
however, customers
should brace themselves
for about an hour or
more of intense shop
ping. Forever XXI is not
a store\for the casual
afternoon shopper, as I
quickly discovered.
This is no boutique-
-the store is absolutely
expansive. There is room
after room and rack upon
rack of clothes. I almost
got lost in wall-to-wall
rayon blends in a back
comer. There is enough
room in the enormous
store for plenty of walk
space around the dis
plays, yet the racks are
crammed together in a
way that makes the space
feel like a maze.
On top of the laby
rinthine nature of the
shop, horrible Top 40
remixes blast from the
sound system accompa
nied by the sing-alongs
of shoulder-to-shoulder
shoppers. The music
and the crowds are
enough to make an easy
pass through the store
nearly impossible. The
shopping experience
at Forever XXI is like
attending a raging night
club, only sober and with
fluorescent lighting.
If a customer is lucky
enough to find a few
things to try on, he or
she will be unfortunate
enough to have to wait in
the line for the dressing
room. While waiting in
line, expect to be bumped
into by other customers,
stepped on and yelled
at by gum-smacking,
teenaged clerks to "stay
behind the white line."
There is a frenzy to get
into the dressing room,
followed by extreme dis
organization on the part
of the salespeople. They
are unhelpful, bored,
and at times downright
rude. Go ahead and plan
on taking all sizes that
you might need into the
dressing room with you
because there won't be
any helpful assistance
from a Forever XXI
The checkout line
is another disaster.
Regardless of the fact
that there are six to seven
registers available in the
store, I have seen only
three or four actually in
use. The lines are a jum
ble of ragged customers
who weave through the
store and sometimes out
the door. If you make it
to the front of the line,
prepare to do battle with
the cashier. There are no
refunds, no discounts for
damaged merchandise,
exchanges only within
the month, and only
store credit if a customer
wants to return some
thing. If these terms are
actually agreed upon, a
customer may make it
out of the store, bag in
hand, alive.
So why do people
actually shop at Forever
XXI? Election and
value. Sadly, there is
no other store at the
Crabtree Valley Mall that
I have found to have the
array of choices in trendy
clothing like the selection
of Forever XXI. Also, this
store is the only one that
has prices that are afford
able on a college student
budget. Forever XXI has
monopolized the mar
ket on clothing for high
school and college-aged
The bottom line is
that if you have downed
a two-liter of Mountain
Dew and are ready for
a marathon. Forever
XXI has some potential
gems in the way of cute
clothes. Don't expect to
get in and out quickly or
even enjoy yourself, but
do expect to pay less for
a stylish outfit.
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Contact for more informa
Photo courtesy \
Editor. Meredith Beeman
beemanme@fneredith. edu
Copy Editor
Joy Strickland
Staff Writers
Kaitlin Briggs Anna Britt
Chelsea McGlaughlin Sarah Servie
Whitney Wilson
The Meredith Herald is published by the College
throughout the academic year. The paper is
funded by the college and through independent
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The opinions expressed in the editorial columns do not
necessarily reflect those of the college administration,
faculty, or student body.
Published by Hinton Press
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