John Lewis targets tweens with new kidswear deep dive
While much of the news coming out of John Lewis recently has been about its well publicised business woes, on Thursday it had more positive news with the launch of a new kids offer that also sees it targeting the tween market.
It's a significant expansion for the childrenswear offer from the retailer and is the first time it has ever designed a collection specifically aimed at the crucial tween market.
It was created under the leadership of Queralt Ferrer, its still-new fashion-focused director of design. And it includes a collection targeting kids age 7-12 (as well as items for the 2-6 age range).
It comes as the company wants to grow its share of the market across a wide age range and as well as its own brand, it's including a range of external popular labels. Ten new fashion brands have been added for the spring season, including Petit Bateau, JoJo Maman Bébé, Mintie by Mint Velvet, Ted Baker, Jack and Jones, and Gap, among others.
Overall, the focus is clearly on a more trend-led selection (“taking inspiration from 90s trends”) and it has “innovative plans” to give the offer a starring role in its store.
The move makes good commercial sense given that the children's clothing market is estimated to be heading towards a value of £7.3 billion by 2027 (source: Mintel). It was worth £6.8 billion in 2022.
Some might say John Lewis has been slow to pick up on its potential with the company virtually handing sales to its rivals once kids gets past toddler stage. The retailer has a huge 16% share of the UK nursery clothing market and also is the source of 34% of all pushchairs sold in the UK. But as kids get a little older their parents go elsewhere for the clothes they're going to wear.
The company said it's now better placed than ever to meet the needs of families as their children grow up and reflects changing tastes among older children who are increasingly interested in what they wear.
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