Forever 21 is changing teen retail forever.
The fast fashion brand’s sales increased 82% from 2007 to 2012, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, classic teen retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, and Aeropostale struggle to connect with customers.
Teens have ramped up spending on electronics, accessories, and footwear, according to Piper Jaffray’s Taking Stock With Teens Survey. Forever 21 has stayed ahead by capitalising on these trends with lightning speed.
We recently went to a retail location in New York City to see why the brand reigns supreme among teenagers.
These photos reveal why Forever 21, which has 480 stores from coast to coast (and a handful internationally), is ruling the teen sector right now.
The retail locations are inviting and modern, with bright lights and white floors. This photo from a Queens mall illustrates the typical Forever 21 storefront:
Immediately upon entering the store, you see these skirts labelled “trending now.” These skirts are bestsellers on Forever 21’s e-commerce site. This shows a smart merger between online and offline and a lightning-fast reaction to trends:
Unlike other teen retailers that only restock for the seasons, Forever 21 has a constant influx of new merchandise, which is displayed throughout the store:
Teens are increasingly spending less on apparel. This makes Forever 21’s low price points key to getting the customer’s attention:
Accessories are a growth category in the teen segment, and Forever 21’s store model shows that they’re on top of the trend. This location had a room full of accessories and beauty products:
The brand is also heavily invested in shoes and boots, which is a hot category in teen apparel, according to Piper Jaffray.
Forever 21 is also invested in hot teen categories like lingerie:
And activewear, another hot category:
Forever 21 does a good job of merchandising. Handbags placed alongside apparel and outerwear give the shopper more ideas for styling:
Forever 21 also takes more risks than the average teen retailer, offering eclectic merchandise that teens love. Here’s a “Punk” sweater prominently displayed:
Teens today spend more on electronics and less on apparel, according to Piper Jaffray. Forever 21 capitalises on this by offering a wide array of tech accessories at checkout:
The brand’s fast supply chain means that it can be up on current trends. We observed shoppers grabbing up these cat sweaters for $US24:
Forever 21 also has an awesome, newly furnished section for men:
Instead of skimping on menswear and only offering basics, Forever 21 provides a good mix of merchandise. There are these affordable jackets:
Forever 21’s men’s line is fashionable without being too crazy. We saw men purchasing these boots:
These watches and accessories in the men’s section encourage impulse buying:
The merchandise stands at check-out have a variety of low-priced accessories and beauty products, which encourage teens to spend more as they leave:
Finally, Forever 21 also has a variety of affordable gifts for the holiday season — a smart strategy to encourage impulsive spending:
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