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The Gods of Retail


Religious proselytizing where you least expect to find it.

Jeffrey Lubell, founder of True Religion Jeans (TRLG), says his company makes "quality, American-made, authentic, timeless, great-fitting, 1970s inspired jeans wear, with a trendsetting appeal for today's consumer."

You won't find religious motifs on True Religion's clothing. Religion doesn't factor into their $200 jeans in any way, actually. But there are outfits that take religion seriously enough to make it a part of everything they sell.

Take In-N-Out Burger, a popular chain of hamburger eateries in California, Nevada, and Arizona, 140 strong.

Harry Snyder and his wife, Esther, founded In-N-Out in 1948. As a private company that doesn't have to answer to shareholders, In-N-Out can do things a little differently than, say, Mickey D's.

Thirsty? How about a little John 3:16 with that Diet Coke?

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The hamburger and cheeseburger wrappers point to Revelation 3:20: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

And sup they will - especially with In-N-Out Burger's Double-Double: 2 burgers, 2 slices of cheese, 670 calories, 41 grams of fat, and topped off with a heapin' helpin' of Nahum 1:7.

According to the Gilroy Dispatch, when Harry Snyder died in 1976, his son Rich took over. Rich started the practice of referencing the Bible on the chain's packaging in the 1980s. According to Dean Atkins, a regional manager for the chain, "After [Rich] passed, we kept on doing it out of respect for him. It was just something he wanted to do."

Don't eat too many Double-Doubles, though - or else you won't be able to fit into clothes by Forever 21, a privately held company headquartered in Los Angeles, with 2007 revenues of $1.3 billion. Forever 21 was founded by Don Chang and his wife Jin, who emigrated from Korea to America in 1981.

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