Thursday, July 19, 2007

Retail faith

I was shopping at Forever 21 the other day, and when I got home, I noticed the words 'John 3:16' written on the underside of the bag as I was putting it away. I was quite intrigued, looked it up, and this is the Bible passage quoted : "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Why would anyone put that on the bag of a large clothing store, I wondered.

I found more in this 2005 article. Apparently the founder of the chain is deeply religious and according to a corporate spokesman, it is "evidence of faith". He is, in fact, not the first one to subtly insert religious references in consumer goods: other chains that tried to do so (or still do) were Starbucks Coffee, In-N-Out Burger, Alaska Airlines and craft chain Hobby Lobby.

Even a basic knowledge of American politics or society is enough for anyone to know that there is a large population that is very religious in this country - abortion and gay rights are key points in differentiating between Democrats and Republicans, for example. Was this retail chain trying to appeal to its Christian consumers, or say something to its non-Christian ones in this subtle manner? I don't really think so. Perhaps it is nothing more or less than a profession of faith. This particular instance was unexpected advocacy of Christianity so I was momentarily surprised, but then I thought : he's not doing anyone any harm, is he, and its his clothing chain after all. And a pretty successful one at that!


One Who Nets The Dot said...

and you are paying to get proselytized!!! and others too.

wanderstruck said...

nope, i don't think so. its something he believes in and he chooses to profess it on the bag. sort of like vegans patronising only whole foods market or something. in any case, i like their clothes and as long as he is not harming anyone or forcing them to believe in what he does, i don't mind!!!