The retail apparel markets have developed beyond imagination and with that the marketing strategies also have changed. There are several ways to lure the buyers of any given age group and not many can resist the temptation to buy garments even without needing them. There are campaigns targeted at a specific group in order to ensure that the retail stores reach the set sales target and in such a scenario, it can even appear that it is a smooth sailing for retail apparel stores. Nevertheless, when economy is in doldrums and even developed country like United States is facing employment crisis, the teen retail apparel market has been affected.


The story of teen retail apparel houses confirms that all is not well as far as sales are concerned. The leading teen retail stores of the United States reported that the profits are on continuous decline in comparison to previous financial year. The stores that have ruled the teen apparel market for decades are getting brickbats from the customers. The reasons for the same being teenagers getting fussier about what they wear to the parents encouraging teens to purchase low priced items and availability of trendier clothes online.


The alternatives for the teen shoppers have widened and the teen customers have the freedom to mix and match from multiple brands so if t-shirt is of a particular brand, the jeans or trousers can be of the other. The conventional teen retail stores were well-liked a decade ago, as most of teens felt the pressure to fit in. Today, the teenagers are not apprehensive about experimenting and standing out from the crowd, following which they prefer to explore contemporary stores. The modern times are about creating a new look by assembling various brands, instead of shopping from a single store.


The traditional teen retail stores also struggle to catch up with fast changing fashion. The customers do not expect to go through the same product or design for an entire month. The modern retail stores change fashion in the wink of an eye and this allures the teenagers to visit these stores more often. The prices quoted by most of the exclusive teen retail stores are far higher than the prices offered by most of the leading retail houses.


It is the parents who take the final decision regarding the spending and in view of low prices, even the parents encourage teens to buy garments from other stores. As the result of this, the retail stores that registered hefty sales a decade ago are struggling now. As per an early 2014 survey taken by YouGov involving around 6000 mothers of teenage kids, most of the mothers voted for those retail apparel stores that offer good variety of clothing at pocket friendly prices.


The media has also not been very supportive to most of the exclusive teen retail stores. The criticism for the quality of clothing and prices has been taken very seriously by the customers, which in turn has resulted in reduced sales. The teens are aware about the quality of clothing and the difference between original and fake. Even when some of the stores in U.S.A. claim to sell teen clothing at low prices, the quality is greatly compromised, which earns these stores a bad name.

 

Some business analysts are also holding the online shopping trend as one of the factors responsible for declining teen retail sales. The teens get to explore umpteen number of online apparel retail stores and buy their pick. In such a case, shopping at retail stores is less fun and there are also not as many choices as online shopping. As per Fitch Ratings this has resulted in overall sale decline of 4 percent i.e. about $ 175 billion in 2013.


Even though the traditional stores have suffered a major setback in the United States, the overall teen apparel sector is also registering a decline in sale. Business analysts believe that in recent past there hasn't been any 'fashion must have' for teenagers of the U.S.A., as a result teen customers are focusing on buying gadgets or other electronic items. Moreover, with the economic crunch, jobs are not easily available. With no job and little money to spend, teenage shoppers are relying on discounts that the high end brands offer, as the quality of these brands is better than that provided by traditional retail stores.


However, there are a few teen retail outlets in the U.S.A. that have managed to adapt to the changing times. One such retail store has reported rise in net profit by 18 percent in the financial year 2013-14. The teens of the U.S.A. are techno savvy and thus, they get fashion updates via social networking sites and through online fashion blogs. If the teen customers see something on internet, they are inclined to search for it in the stores and the outlets that are offering fast fashion; great designs and good quality at competitive prices have managed to stay ahead in the competition.


Even though the chic teen retail stores of the past are struggling to cope with the major attitude change of the teen customers and market trends, still there's a chance that these stores can bounce back by bringing about changes in marketing and product launch strategies.



References:


1.      Fashionista.com

2.      Forbes.com

3.      Cbsnews.com

4.      Washingtonpost.com

5.      Costar.com