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Jennifer Marks

Changing Times

After previewing the New York Home Fashions Market week last month, one of the big take-aways was the market pivot to the Millennial generation. We've since seen more evidence of the trend.
     Last week, Macy's announced t

Jennifer MarksJennifer Marks Editor-in-Chief
he launch of 13 new brands in the coming months to appeal explicitly to the 13-to 30-year-old population segment. The brands are apparel, accessories and footwear, although obviously the design sensibility, if nothing else, can be expected to spill into the home department. It should be noted the house apparel brand Style & Co. has already migrated into bedding.
     Think about the oldest cohort of the Millennials. They're getting married, setting up households, having children. They need stuff, lots of it.
     They've also been on-demand consumers their whole lives. They never had to wait for that one night of the year when "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was broadcast. They could watch it five times a day - in July - if they wanted to, first on video, then on DVD. They've been shopping online since they had the means to pay electronically.
     And when they look out at the retail landscape, how do they view it? Kohl's is their mother's store. JCPenney is their grandmother's store. Walmart is a grocery store.
     This is the fast-fashion generation. It's also the flash-sale site generation, so it's probably no surprise that the flash channel is starting to step up its game. Last week, One Kings Lane launched its first national TV campaign, "Design is Never Done." It's part of a broader brand-building strategy that will ultimately expand into print advertising. In late September, Fab.com began a three-week test of a TV spot touting "everyday design" in six U.S. markets. One assumes there will be more to come from others.
     The pop-up store is the physical manifestation of the flash-sale site. Target was the pioneer here. We're starting to see more of them. Sferra did a pop-up in Saks last month. Land of Nod is doing an NYC popup next month. PBTeen launched pop-ups on Oct. 20 is five cities. I fully expect flash-sale sites to get in the game, probably next year.
     The times they are a changing. And that's good for everybody.

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