Retailers Burned by Teens Cry ‘Mommy!’

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Jun 03, 2002
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Gap Inc. is among several apparel retailers that targeted younger shoppers only to incur the disfavor of one of the most powerful consuming groups, female baby boomers, reports the Los Angeles Times. Other companies that have lost core shoppers in the process include Ann Taylor Stores Corp., Nordstrom Inc. and Talbots Inc.

It’s not easy to win back these shoppers once they stray because other retailers, including discounters Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and specialty chains such as J. Jill Group Inc. and Chico’s FAS Inc., have moved to fill the gap.

Retailers’ inclination to target teens in recent years has baffled analysts because the nearly 40 million women ages 38 to 55 have the most money to spend. “It seems odd that there aren’t more retailers looking at that customer,” says Dorothy Lakner, an analyst with CIBC World Markets. That could be because the boomer concept just isn’t as “sexy” as the teen concept, she says.

Moderator Comment: What are the keys for retailers that want a greater share of female baby boomer expenditures?

Card every female consumer over 30 years of age every
time they attempt to purchase alcoholic beverages or tobacco products. Make
this company policy. We’re not kidding. [George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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