2011 November 17

Hollister has become synonymous with twilight retailing: and teenagers seem to love buying casual clothing in such dark conditions that they don’t actually know what colour their new garments are until they’ve got them out of the store. According to the Daily Mail, parents are complaining about not being able to see the true colour or the price of what they’re buying, and even of losing track of their teenagers in the store.

The ‘greeters’ whose six packs are on display even if there is snow on the ground are also viewed with suspicion by some parents who feel they are tacky or maybe even that the young men are being exploited.

Even so, the Hollister experience seems to be a popular one, so what can parents learn from it about teenagers and shopping?

  1. Casual clothing needs special focus – because teenagers spend most of their time in jeans, joggers, hoodies and trainers, these, not party outfits, are the focus of their attention, and the party atmosphere of Hollister can make them feel they are getting more for their money. To get your teen to shop in less expensive outlets, or even online, arrange for one of their friends to come round, let them play loud music and lay on pizza, snacks and multi-player gaming in between bouts of online clothing browsing. This makes them much more likely to engage with the idea
  2. Colours matter – Hollister are coy about the number of returns they receive but it does seem to be the one part of the shopping process that disconcerts teens. Point out that online shopping allows teens to look at all the colours, sizes and options, to do comparison shopping and even to google potential purchases and see reviews on their wearability. This encourages a picky shopper to realise that they can spend as long as they like debating a black T-shirt versus a red one, online but in the shop it gets annoying to family and friends!
  3. Feed the senses – Hollister spray perfume around their shop and on their customers to make the experience memorable. Do the same for your teen shoppers by squirting the room with their body spray before they start shopping – believe it or not, psychologists say that a favourite scent can  prejudice us in favour of an experience by up to 46%.

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