Typically, the children’s resale customer base includes family, friends and caregivers shopping for kids from the time they are born until about 8 years of age. Yet-to-be moms shopping for maternity clothing may also be customers.
What do I mean by “market?” The market of a children’s resale store is a function of the economy, shopping culture, habits, and demographics of the region, the size of the space, shopping environment, and competition. They all play a roll and are unique to every market. It is extremely rare for any two stores to have the same market…even if located only 20 miles apart.
Let’s talk about ‘tweens. Are ‘tweens part of a children’s resale market? ‘Tweens are ages 10 to 12 – moving from childhood to teen years struggling to establish independence. Tweens generally balk at wearing anything an adult buys for them – relegating piles of clothing to the back of the closet floor. More often it is the adults, not ‘tweens, who shop sizes 12, 14 and 16 in a children’s resale store–most of the time for younger children who wear the larger sizes…seldom for the ‘tweens.
In 1999 a new resale concept was introduced to shoppers that specifically targeted the ‘tween to junior size market. The new concept grew into a strong and successful market presence. These stores designed with a young adult pulse, have become attractive to the ‘tween shopper. This has made it even more challenging for children’s resale stores to sell sizes 12, 14 and 16 at a meaningful volume. ‘Tweens discovered a “place of their own to shop” without having to weave their way past strollers, toys and potty seats.
This is not to say that children’s resale stores cannot sell those sizes. There are exceptions. Some I know of are children’s resale locations that have a strong ‘tween population and a large “mega” retail space, allowing them to build a ‘tween to junior “store within a store.” Some even have a separate entry door to the “store within a store.” Other long established shops carry a highly selective and small sample of ‘tween sizes more as a service for customers, rather than as a profit center.
When analyzing store locations, NextGen considers the market. Understanding the market guides owners toward making informed decisions when stocking the store.
Know your market…and you will know who’s your customer. Knowing who’s your customer has an impact on the resale buying process and what works best in your store…such knowledge can help sales and can help to bolster your bottom line.