Retail Fashion Industry and Youth

Realising the fact that urbanisation and exposure to visual media has provided more exposure to the kids, retailers have stepped in to create and nurture the new segment. We see all the leading brands including fashion as well as sports and retailers promoting kids collection separately and exclusively. The market in terms of kids and youngsters is huge and untapped. Retailers have identified the kids and youth under different age brackets. Starting with kids under 6yrs category, we have the new category called tweens covering years between 8 to 13 years. Over 13 years to 16 yrs falls under the teens category.

The urbanisation has made the children exposed to fashion and lifestyle products. It has now become the in thing for children to choose their own branded clothes and live up to the standards in their society. In fact children ’s shopping is no less than the adult’s shopping. We are seeing the new trend of children pulling their parents to go shopping wherein everybody ends up shopping and buying at the end. Marketers who have realised this trend have begun to build their advertisements by including famous sports stars and actors etc in their campaigns with the hope of building brand loyalty amongst the children.

Studies in UK have estimates the teenage market to run into over 4 billion dollars. Besides the fact that all urban children receive specific pocket money from parents, their exposure to latest technology has made them partner as well as influence the buying decisions in the family. Thus children have become the most important influencers who choose their brands.

Television has been hugely responsible for the growth of the teens and youth market. Advertisements manage to make impressions on the youth effectively when they are endorsed by the favourite football star or a celebrity. Besides advertisements promoting specific style and product, the soaps viewed by children are found to be major influencers too. Soaps have been successful in segmenting the youth and building certain lifestyles that the ordinary youth imitate and try to live up to. Since no child wants to be left out, the entire community of children begin to follow the latest trend and fashion. In case of parents, we see a change in attitude too. Double income and fast paced lifestyle promotes being stylish and using branded accessories for the entire family. Availability of disposable income and the need to be stylish has made parents spend on branded fashion clothing for their children.

Another trend that we see evolving is the influence of pop stars and dancing stars on the youth. The style and brands used by the pop stars automatically become the latest fashion trend followed by the loyal fans- the youth. Retail fashion companies have understood the psyche and the youth behaviour very well and manage to create new trends by roping in celebrities to be associated with their products. Similarly the other celebrities from various sports, cinema as well as other entertainment media have gained the star power to influence the youth.

Understanding the youth and trying to build fashion for them is not easy. Many children are very sure about what they want and what they like. Just like the adults, children too are very demanding and specific when it comes to making purchases for themselves. Most children are also commercially savvy and know the value of money, therefore make their choices carefully. Retailers have had to focus on building this segment giving it the same importance as that of adults segment. As a result, we see specialised and varied product range being created for this segment alone. The youth segment has huge potential for growth for the market is largely untapped. Retail Companies have realised this fact in time and are sparing no efforts to grow this segment.

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