Lingerie and intimate apparel store Victoria’s Secret is targeting tween girls.
Victoria’s Secret is not the only clothier hoping to cash in on younger girl’s interest in the clothes. Both Hot Topic (NASDAQ:HOTT) and Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) both have high school lines and even child-oriented Justice, owned by Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) has a line of bras and panties for their 7- to 12-year-old audience.
While some say the brands are aimed at the over-18 crowd, some disagree. Marcie Merriman, founder of the PrimalGrowth consultant group, says the stores are, “all going to say they’re targeting 18- to 22-year-olds, but the reality is you’re going to get the younger customer.”
To provide themselves cover from parents, the clothing tends to be presented as ‘cute’ instead of ‘sexy’. Still, girls are being pushed to mature faster than in previous generations. Dan Stanek, a consultant to the industry, says girls are trying to imitate the lingerie seen on entertainment idols. “Sensuality and body image continues to be a message that young girls are seeing and are being exposed to in a much less controlled fashion perhaps than even 10, 12 years ago,” Stanek told Bloomberg.