The new Forever 21 megastore

Forever 21 Entrance

It's huge!

By Kaitlin Resler

After months of construction and teasing from a sign looming over the section of Crossgates that used to be Dick's, the new Forever21 opened on Friday.

I don't mean to make this sound super epic -- it's not exactly high-fashion heaven -- but it's the largest of the chain's stores on the East Coast. And for quick, trendy pieces and four-dollar sunglasses Forever21 is certainly a place to check out. And if you've never been, or haven't set foot inside for a long time, now it's definitely worth a look.

So I took one...

First, it's huge. It's monstrous. Enormous. Almost mind-bogglingly huge for a store of its kind. Suddenly the old location seems so tiny, even the larger Heritage 1981 (a sister store that was next door to the old Forever21).

From the front you can see racks of clothing extending all the way to the pink back wall, past lots of white, mirrors, and sparkling chandeliers. It's fun to walk through if only for the shiny interior, or to marvel at the amount of merchandise available.

Looking All the way back.jpg

Forever21 was never exactly short on merchandise, but suddenly it seems as though they've been holding out on us. This new location boasts way, way, way more. Racks upon racks. If you thought the amount of stuff was overwhelming before, you'll be blown away now.

That said, the store is now much more easy to navigate and browse. The main aisle seems to house the trendiest pieces, architectural dresses with puffy shoulders, strange silk shorts (not shiny), feathers, slouchy tee-shirts and tiered skirts. I recommend working your way clockwise through the different rooms.

Pink room.jpg

Each room is themed. Many stores are sectioned into specific areas (H&M for example has H&M trend, a section for more office-casual clothes, and the extremely trendy sections). Forever21 takes this to a grander scale and actually houses different collections in entire rooms. Not only are the clothes and racks less cramped than before, but shopping with a specific look or style in mind is now easier -- one can keep a trip to one room or two.

Heritage 1981 has moved right into the store, off to the left as you enter from the mall, while a men's section is located to the left. Yes, it's considerably smaller than the other rooms, but it was also much less crowded. It's not a loss either -- they carry a bunch of neat t-shirts (one with strange bicycle wheels was pretty cool), cardigans, and jackets in a range to suit many tastes and styles.


There is a section of shoes, a few bits of accessories scattered here and there, a space that seems set for lounge-wear and lingerie, and the little plastic shelves near the register offering tote-bags, makeup, hand-mirrors, socks and all manner of teeny things are still in place.

I'm sure there are more, but I only noticed two fitting rooms. I picked the less-crowded one, in what appears to be the more formal room, and got in quickly on Monday afternoon. Sleek and kind of dark, they're painted black and teal with white accents, which is actually quite nice after the bright lights and insane neons, pastels, and sequins of the rest of the store. I only tried on a few things, drawn in by lots of floral prints, and left with this pretty yellow blouse (priced at $15) that I'd had my eye on a few days before -- I was just waiting until the lines died down.

Fitting room and blouse2.jpg

In summation: Gargantuan. Lots and lots of merchandise, choice, organized well. Sales associates were helpful and friendly -- even when harried and carrying eighty pounds of clothes to go back on the racks. And, as always, prices are pretty cheap.

Most of the items I grabbed (blouses, a few cotton dresses, some shorts and cardigans) all hovered between $11-$24, and smaller items like sunglasses around $5 (I grabbed a pair -- as someone who constantly sits on or looses them, a few bucks for a cute pair is as far as I'm willing to go). Shoes ring in at about $25. The downside, as it was downstairs, is that items cannot be returned for original tender -- only merchandise credit or exchange. But at low prices they're still a good bet for the newest on-trend items that won't suck your wallet dry, or the cheapest of basics.


Anyone want to take bets on how long this stays organized?

when i visited over the weekend: 1) i texted my friend "the new forever21 is the size of a town," and 2) i felt like the heritage section was a downgrade from the old store downstairs - there wasnt very much in there at all. i can only hope that they'll be adding more. also, it's lost that heritage-esque feel that was so different from the feel in F.21. i liked having the heritage store separate for times when i just didnt feel like dealing with going into forever 21 at all -- imagine if the only way you could get to banana republic was by going to its "section" in old navy (because both are owned & operated by the same company). aagghh!!

Kim: I agree on the Heritage thing. There was a floral sweater downstairs for 24$ that isn't anywhere in the new location--much to my saddness :( That section seemed generally less crowded, which was nice, but yeah, I liked the big location. I wonder too if some of their merchandise is now spread out--like the blouse I ended up with--rather than just in that section.

Not a fan of Forever21 because of their "makes-me-feel-fat" sizing hyped as "extended sizing."

There's some creative math going on when a size XL is an 11/12 and you are suddenly a TRIPLE-X at a size 17/18. Srsly?

It looks fantastic via the web! I am on Long Island studying PR and missing my Albany! (the blog is great)

I was wondering when it was finally going to open!

Roosevelt Field down here on LI is nearly double in size of good ol' Crossgates and has two Forever 21s. They recently made the change from the tornado wreck style store previously seen at Crossgates to the new department-style store. It's awesome and much easier to navigate.

I went in there last night with my sister who needed a dress, and it was soooo overwhelming! I got lost at least twice. They did have some nice clothes though. I got a cropped short sleeve cartigan that is really cute, and it was pretty cheap.

With a store so huge, any chance they have a maternity section. On second thought...with a name like Forever 21, pregnant women probably aren't their target shoppers.

@Dawn, how funny my first question was if it has a maternity section! I'm 30 (and pregnant) but still like "junior" style clothes! Wouldn't it be nice!

I'm waiting for the "Forever Over 50" store......

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