The Kids Are Alright

Dec 03, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Teenagers, as any parent can attest, can be a fickle lot.

One moment they absolutely cannot go on living without a new something or the other and, in a flash, the same product becomes yesterday’s news.

A New York Times article says kids today are more interested in the latest gadget and less in fashion. As proof are numbers from NPD, which show clothing purchases made
by teenagers has dropped $3.5 billion over the past two years.

As discerning consumers, often spending their own money, teenagers are not short on opinions concerning retailers, as the Times article points out.

Tazetta Yerkes, a 13-year old shopping in a Conn. Mall said, “More and more, these shops have the same stuff.”

Her friend, Sewell Robinson, said sweatshirts with slogans, a hot item not that long ago, “are so out right now.”

Sara Groton offered this opinion on clothing for her generation. “I think in department stores like Filene’s and Macy’s, the clothes may fit, but they’re tacky and cheap. At
nice stores, like The Gap, the clothes come only in children’s and adults.”

Moderator’s Comment: Is the pace of fashion speeding up? Do retailers need to develop new supply chain approaches to keep up with the changing whims
of teenagers?
Anderson – Moderator

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