Retail is Targeting the “Mother”

Posted by: on October 23, 2009

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that many teen stores are making changes to their store environments to appeal to Moms.

Over the last few years, everyday fashion reached what used to be luxury prices.  For example, simple “hoodies” (in my day this was a sweatshirt) with the most popular brand name stitched on the back go for an exorbitant $60.00.  Three years ago that wasn’t a big deal.  Now, with economic times being what they are it’s no wonder Mom’s across the country feel compelled to accompany their teens on shopping trips to the mall to make sure purchases are ‘Mom approved’.  Teens may not love the idea of having Mom tag-along at the mall but if the babysitting money won’t even cover a pair of jeans they may just accept that Mom (and her check book) comes with the price of fashion.

Teen apparel retailers are wise to catch on that the buck ultimately stops with Mom and to make accommodations that appeal to both Mom and teen alike.

There’s still a balancing act to play, however.  Retailers who can still appeal to the Teen’s need for independence and their own experience but capture Mom’s sensibility will be well served.  The Wall Street Journal cites some practical changes that wouldn’t appear to impede the teen appeal of stores like wider aisles, more seats and hours of operation that accomodate parents’ work schedules.  Yet they must be careful not to deviate too far from the in-store experience that draws teens like Hollisters’ dark beach house feel or Express’ club-like music.

Paying attention to these intricacies of consumer behavior and responding quickly keeps the shopping experience relevant and enables retailers to stay the economy.

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