Justice stores rely on tween nagging and sensory overload to boost sales

The clothing store Justice caters to tween girls and their appetite for trendy clothing.  The store targets kids ages 7-14 and fear not, they're launching a new line of boys clothing, known as Brothers.  (For those from way back, anyone remember Limited Too?  It morphed into Justice.)

Tween moms seem very split on the store.  Some moms appreciate the affordable options, other moms disapprove of the styles and quality.

CEO Michael Rayden is upfront in saying that the store does not try to appeal to moms and in fact takes very much the opposite approach, because, he says,  "the last thing a 10- or 12-year-old girl wants is to look like her mom."  It's fascinating but perhaps not surprising that the CEO of Justice told AdWeek, "Mom is the primary purchaser in our business, yes. The only reason mom and daughter come into the store is the nag factor of the girl." 

It appears that then number of effective tween naggers is growing, as Justice posted an 11% net sales gain in April.  Even more noteworthy is that Justice is giving the big box stores a run for their money in the tween clothing market, besting both Target and Walmart in the recent quarter.

"They love sensory overload—bright colors, music videos, a variety of merchandise, the tumult of all of that," Rayden added about his tween customers. But how many tween parents love tumult?

My tween has only shopped in Justice once, because she had a gift card.  I thought the store was a bit much in terms of sensory overload, and that is apparently another strategy from the corporate office.  "You also have to appeal to their senses. They love sensory overload—bright colors, music videos, a variety of merchandise, the tumult of all of that," Rayden said.  I wonder if they're hoping moms will make purchases just to get out of the store and escape the "tumult." I know I was feeling that way. Some styles were cute, and some were not what I believe to be appropriate.  I haven't been impressed with the quality of the clothing that my tween selected.

Am I the only who does not want to make financial decisions, no matter how small, in a stressful retail environment designed to make my tween nag me?  CEO Rayden's comments made me less likely to shop at Justice.   I get that my tween does not want to dress like I do, but I'd prefer to support businesses that strive to create tween styles that are uniquely tween but also create a retail experience that are positive for both my tween and me.

How do you feel about Justice stores?  Do you and your tween shop there?  Does knowing that they relying nagging as a sales strategy change your opinion?

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Tags: clothing, justice, tween

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