By Rieva Lesonsky
The line between adults, tweens and teens is continuing to blur for many consumers, a trend many small retailers can easily embrace and take advantage of. Starting several years ago, young girls wanted to dress more like their moms, creating a boom for entrepreneurs selling clothes, accessories and beauty products. Lingerie is the hot, new “crossover” product.
Bloomberg Businessweek reports that several big brands, from Victoria’s Secret to Hot Topic to Urban Outfitters are jumping on the trend, and notes that “Even Justice, the store for 7- to 12-year-olds, is selling $21.90 tie-dye bras and $9 flowered panties online.”
The trend was born nearly a decade ago when Victoria’s Secret introduced its Pink brand catering to college girls, but stayed relatively contained until now. Pink boasts about $1.5 billion in sales, but its parent company (the huge Limited Brands) is predicting that will likely double in the next few years.
What does this all mean for you? First, jump on the bandwagon now. If you sell lingerie, add a line for teens. If you sell teen clothing, broaden your wares to include lingerie. Overall, reports market research firm NPD Group, lingerie sales top $11 billion a year.
It’s important to market these items carefully, so you don’t turn off the girls or offend their moms. Instead of selling “sexy” lingerie, you’ll be offering cute, pretty and fun undergarments.
None of this should be surprising. Teens have long wanted to emulate the college crowd. As reported by Bloomberg Businessweek, at a conference last month Limited Brands’ CFO Stuart Burgdoerfer said teenagers “want to be older, and they want to be cool like the girl in college.”
So if you sell products or offer services aimed at women, take a look at how you can repackage those offerings or add products targeting tweens, and especially teenage girls.