Brick-and-mortar retailers specializing in teenage apparel are suffering as their target customers move online. As a result, many of these brands are expected to offer their lowest sale prices during this year’s back-to-school season in an effort to lure back customers, reports Reuters. Last year, retailers for teenagers and young adults had the slowest growth in the apparel industry since 2010, according to ShopperTrak. Specifically, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, and Urban Outfitters are expected to give some of the largest discounts this season based on their recent poor performance among their target demographic.
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When it comes to teenage shoppers, the option of being able to try on clothing before buying is becoming less of a factor, according to the latest survey conducted by Piper Jaffray.
- Only 61% of US teens say they currently prefer to shop for clothing online from retailers that also operate their own bricks-and-mortar stores. That’s a significant drop from the 81% of teens last spring who said they preferred to shop at omnichannel fashion (or cross-channel) retailers.
We suspect that this trend is driven in part by flexible return policies, which have become a popular way for e-commerce pure-plays to guarantee customer satisfaction. In fact, among all US consumers (not just teens) a flexible return policy is the third-most important factor to consumers when deciding where to shop online, behind “free shipping” and “low prices”, according to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation.
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