Pacific Sunwear filed for bankruptcy protection today. And I’m the afraid the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of our generation. For we turned our back on the store that transitioned us from children to teenagers. From sweatpants to jeans. From Hello Kitty sticker to stickers of brands that don’t have animal mascots.
What have we done?
Middle school is a difficult time in the harrowing process we all undergo: growing up. And while a few weak support systems are in place to help preteens through this transition phase, parents, teachers, youth camping programs — all pale in comparison to Pacific Sunwear. The store that showed you growing up can be fun.
What can make you feel better about casting off your Looney Tunes T-shirt than replacing it with a skateboard brand T-shirt with cool stripes?
And how did we repay this shepherd of our youth? We didn’t just turn our backs. No, we did more than that. We threw it under the bus for a quick laugh.
Jnco jeans have become a punchline even the least funny friend in the group can get a laugh off of.
Forget the fact that Jnco’s were the first non-sweatpants we wore to school. The bagginess made the transition easy! But we don’t care. With cold, callused hearts we tease and mock the store and brands that were there for us in our time of need.
Perhaps we thought PacSun was invincible. Something that would always be in the mall for us to rush past on our way to J.Crew and Banana Republic. I mean, aren’t there always awkward 12-year-olds caught between wanting to play with dolls and knowing the social ramification of bringing a doll to school? Won’t they always need keychains with alien figurines on them? But that’s what it means to take something for granted.
We are responsible for the death of PacSun. Its neon orange blood is on our hands.