18.Girls as young as 11 are visiting Victoria’s Secret stores to buy Pink items, with and without their mothers. Two such 11-year-olds, Lily Feingold and Brittany Garrison, were interviewed while shopping at a Victoria's Secret store with Lily's mother. They confessed that Victoria’s Secret was one of their favorite stores. Passing up cotton lounge pants because each already had multiple pairs, both girls bought $68 pairs of sweatpants with the “Pink” label emblazoned on the derriere. The girls denied buying the items because they wanted to seem more grown up, instead saying that they simply liked the clothes. Victoria’s Secret executives say that they are not targeting girls younger than 18. But regardless of Victoria's Secret’s intentions, Pink is fast becoming popular among teens and “tweens,” loosely defined by a range of about 8 to 14 years old. Most experts agree that by the time children reach 10, they are rejecting childlike images and aspiring to more mature things associated with being a teenager. Called “age compression,” it explains the trend toward preteens leaving their childhoods earlier and giving up traditional toys for more mature interests, such as cell phones, consumer electronics, and fashion products. Tweens are growing in size and purchase power. The 33 million teens (ages 12 to 19) in the U.S. spend more than $175 billion annually (over 60 percent have jobs), and the 25 million tweens spend $51 billion annually, a number that continues to increase. But even more telling is the $170 billion per year that is spent by parents and other family members directly for the younger consumers who may not have as much income as their older siblings. Although boys are a part of this group, it is widely recognized that girls account for the majority of dollars spent. With this kind of purchase power behind them, as they find revenue for their older target markets leveling off, marketers everywhere are focusing on the teen and tween segments. Although executives at Victoria’s Secret deny targeting the youth of America, experts disagree. David Morrison, president of marketing research agency Twentysomething, says he is not surprised that Victoria’s Secret denies marketing to teens and preteens. “If Victoria's Secret is blatantly catering to seventh and eighth graders, that might be considered exploitative.” Morrison also acknowledges that the age group is drawn to the relative maturity and sophistication of the Pink label.
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- Spring '14
- Lingerie, Victoria's Secret