Monday, May 4, 2009
Losing Its Cool at the Mall
BEEN THERE, SEEN THAT Abercrombie & Fitch has seen a reduction in shopping traffic among teenagers.
The New York Times - AT the entrance to almost every shopping mall in the country, you will find a directory that, if you are spatially coordinated, will give you an approximate lay of the land. You can gauge the distance from Abercrombie & Fitch to its younger-skewing cousin, Hollister, or its older cousin, Ruehl, and find the way to their closest competitors in the teenager and young adult category, Aéropostale and American Eagle Outfitters.
But you will be no closer to discerning what drives the modern youth from one store to the next; what differentiates one’s frayed cargo shorts from another’s; or why one of them, Abercrombie, is facing a consumer revolt, while others are paradoxically upbeat. A clue: It has to do with price.
During years of rampant consumerism, where teenagers shopped was often more closely tied to what was happening in the pages of US Weekly or InStyle than their families’ financial circumstances. Empires like Abercrombie & Fitch were built on the premise that their products, even $80 jeans and $30 T-shirts with provocative graphics, would be perceived as luxury items if they were sold in the right way. But as teenagers’ priorities rapidly shift away from brands they now perceive as too expensive, the pecking order of mall stores has changed.http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/fashion/23TEENS.html
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- Losing Its Cool at the Mall
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