The Short Rise (And Possible Fall) Of Online Teen Clothing Retailer Shop Jeen

Yet another teen retailer appears poised to join the likes of Aeropostale, DEB, Wet Seal, and Delia’s on the list of clothing stores that have fallen from their glory days of outfitting youngsters in fashionable duds. The website of quick-rising online retailer Shop Jeen has been down for several days.

Unless you’re into teen clothing, you might not have heard of Shop Jeen, but it’s an online retailer that quickly came popular for its cheeky and topical selection of clothing and accessories tailored to “hip, cool” teens.

But it appears that just as quickly as the online retailer burst onto the scene it’s also fading, with the company’s website down for several days and its 24-year-old CEO deflecting discussion on the company’s issue in social media posts.

BuzzFeed News reports that the website for the company, which launched in 2012, has been down since at least May 13, leaving hundreds of customers waiting for orders and unable to find information on when or if those packages will ever arrive.

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CEO and founder Erin Yogasundram briefly addressed the issue in a “vague and dramatic” Snapchat video Tuesday, noting that “there’s a lot of shit going on with us, with Shop Jeen. We’re going to talk about it soon, we’ll have a statement.”

The company addressed an issue to BuzzFeed News:

“Shop Jeen has been experiencing operational challenges, which we are working extremely hard to address. Fortunately, we are close to a resolution and the site will be operational shortly. Approximately 5% of orders from the last 60 days have been affected and we ensure that they will all be shipped. Nothing is more important to us than our relationship with our customers and we sincerely apologize for the disruption in service.”

Yogasundram opened Shop Jeen from her dorm room at George Washington University, and the site quickly went viral thanks to its meme-themed and emoji-heavy clothing and accessories.

“I was studying sociology, and I was failing everything ’cause my heart was actually in, like, immersing myself in experience — you learn so much better like that,” Yogasundram told MTV last year.

The company enjoyed a wealth of positive media coverage and supposedly healthy sales after its launch. In fact, Yogasundram MTV that Shop Jeen had 22 employees in its New York office and she was readying to open a location in California.

The company also reportedly had an impressive following on social media, with over 400,000 Instagram followers and 60,000 Facebook likes.

In addition to Internet fandom, Shop Jeen was also apparently quickly profitable. Yogasundram claimed to have made $50,000 in her first month as CEO of the company, according to a profile in New York Magazine’s The Cut. She later told Business Insider that the company makes “millions” in sales each year.

But it appears the love from customers and others disappeared just as quickly as it started.

In September, Jezebel reported that not everything was sunshine at Shop Jeen. At the time, the company was facing allegations of misconduct, such as failing to pay vendors on time and only addressing the non-payments when legal action was threatened.

In one instance a vendor told Jezebel that she encountered payment delays for much of the time she worked with company. The vendor claims that she eventually received payment, but not after receiving confrontational emails with Yogasundram.

“She’s really trying to make us feel like the bad ones [for having asked for payment],” the vendor said, showing an email in which Yogasundram noted that she had recently flown to New York to close the company’s offices, as they could “no longer afford” it.

At the same time vendors were experiencing delays, so were customers. Complaints from shoppers focused mainly on the fact that shipments weren’t arriving when they were promised.

Those issues were difficult for the company to address, as Jezebel reports it only had one customer service rep.

“I generally enjoyed my time at the company due to my coworkers,” the rep tells Jezebel. “Having said that, it was not well organized and it was very difficult to [do] my job well due largely to internal issues such as money and lack of communication from management.”

These issues seem to have come to a head for Shop Jeen, BuzzFeed reports, noting that customers are now getting antsy about their pending orders.

Yogasundram recently posted several Tweets suggesting she was homeless or struggling to hold ground in the business world following news that Shop Jeen’s site was down.

Shop Jeen’s Website Has Disappeared [BuzzFeed News]

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