Forever 21 store

TungCheung/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘People be stealing $1.49 tank tops’: Former retail worker says Forever 21 is the ‘worst’ place to work

'I lost a part of my soul working for forever 21.'


Adrienne Hunter


Posted on Jun 30, 2023

A TikToker and retail worker posted a video that revealed the many reasons why Forever 21 was the worst place she ever worked at. 

The video, which amassed over 808,800 views as of Friday, was one of many posted by user Kenya Broadnax (@kbmakeupme24), that documented her experiences working fast fashion retailer. 

@kbmakeupme24 Clothing Retail is a MONSTER 😭#greenscreen #foryoupage #fyp #foryourpage #viral #retail #retailproblems #retailproblem #retailworker #survivingretailjobs #forever21 ♬ Funny Background – Stefani

“Today we’re going to be talking about my very first job that I got when I was 18 … this nightmare!” the worker said, referring to Forever 21, before reciting a laundry list of cautionary tales about the popular retail store. 

“There is no place that has ever been worse to work for than this company right here,” she emphasized.

To begin, she shared that she was hired “the same day” as her interview and “didn’t even bring a resume.”

Of the many issues she pointed to, the worst, she said, was the “aggressive” customers who routinely stole from the store. The Daily Dot has also previously reported on a worker at Forever 21 calling out customers for stealing, albeit poorly.

“They wanted us to be like security guards at that place,” Kenya shared. “Those girls would literally come in there and they would tell us ‘Oh ya if we can’t get what we want off the floor we’ll just steal it off the mannequins.’ And literally, they would get up and try to rip stuff off of mannequins and we’d have to call security.” 

Kenya also spoke about being overworked, adding that the store used to make employees do “the most illegal things.” She claimed that management would have employees “work until 11:58 and then clock back in after midnight,” so that they would not qualify for overtime.

“Forget having a day off,” she added. “There would be times when I literally worked 7 days a week because people wouldn’t show up to work and then they would call me because they knew I was reliable.”

Additionally, the worker clarified in the comments that she was underpaid while employed at Forever 21. “Best paycheck I got was $600 & that was after 80+ hrs of work,” she wrote.

Kenya also shared some of the more frustrating encounters she had with customers and coworkers. 

One such story included a coworker who tried to “sell her xanax in the store,” adding, “and they knew that she was selling drugs in the store and they didn’t care.”

She also mentioned that “there were full-on fistfights in the store.” 

“We literally had two girls who had the same baby daddy. They fought in the store because of that, like a full-on fistfight in front of everybody.” 

Kenya eventually left her position when “they closed the store down to remodel and [she] never went back.”

Many commenters agreed with Kenya’s assessment of the store.

“​​I also worked at forever 21 when I was 18-20,” wrote one user. “It was hell. It was the worst place to work at lol.”

“I lost a part of my soul working for forever 21,” said another person.

“GIRLLLLLL Forever 21 was my first job before Sephora and it was TERRIBLE!!!!!!” exclaimed a third. 

Others also corroborated Kenya’s claims of rampant theft at the store, as well as the random violence they encountered while working there.

“People be stealing $1.49 tank tops,” one person said, to which the creator responded, “YES and earrings that turn after one day.”

Another joked, “I worked there for two years. Seen more action than a prison guard lol.”

“I used to work at forever as well and they stole the mannequin wig and walked out lmaooo,” shared a third.

The Daily Dot reached out to Kenya via TikTok and Forever 21 via email. 

Share this article
*First Published: Jun 30, 2023, 5:17 pm CDT