Features: Still Life

Jul
2007

Kids Just Want To Have Trends

The tween/young teen category is a challenging market for eyecare professionals. In fact, according to 20/20’s Kids’ Eyewear MarketPulse Survey 2007, nearly a quarter (24 percent) of respondents find catering to tweens and young teens a major challenge, with an additional 46 percent reporting it a minor challenge. However, challenging or not, it’s a highly lucrative category. An advertising and marketing company that focuses on young people, 360 Youth, reports tweens independently spend $51 billion annually and have considerable sway over another $170 billion spent on them by family. Here’s how selected retailers nationwide work with this challenging— and profitable—young group. —Gloria Nicola


From top: FIRE FLY 126 from Royal Vision; OP KIDS 806 from ClearVision Optical; ESPRIT 543 from Charmant USA; JELLY BEAN 306 from I-dealoptics; SCOOBY-DOO 42 from Eyewear Designs

“We carry nearly 1,000 frames and it would be hard to dedicate a section of more than 40 frames to the tweeners. We tend to steer these kids to the young adults/adolescent frames. We have a lot of success with this because most of these kids are drawn to the designers favored by big sisters and brothers. Our stylists and frame reps order with a smaller eye size in mind to allow for these younger patients.”
—DAWSON T. LI, OD, PRACTICE OF DAWSON T. LI, OD, AND YUH-JEN LAO, OD, BAKERSFIELD, CALIF.

“Tweens love acetate frames in small eye sizes with vivid colors and patterns and they also like rimless designs. Our frames are generally grouped by brand. Styles suitable for tweens are in the adult areas because tweens do not want to be treated like children or shop in the children’s area. At our practice, tweens tend to learn toward brands on the cutting-edge of fashion. Their sense of fashion is heavily influenced by what Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton are wearing.”
—ROBERT CHU, OD, EYEWORKS GROUP, FORT WORTH, TEXAS


From left: GARFIELD 535 from LBI; THAT’S SO RAVEN 008 from Revolution Eyewear

“From the local market research we’ve done with kids of friends, tweens are a different generation of consumers altogether. In our area, kids are more interested in stores than brands. It’s more prestigious for them to buy clothes at Gap, Limited Too, Abercrombie & Fitch, Old Navy, etc., than to have a logo. The brand we most commonly use with tweens is Nike. And tween girls really gravitate toward our Op (Ocean Pacific) plastics.”
—STACIE LAYNE VIRDEN, OD, WACO VISION & HEALTH, WACO, TEXAS.

“We have quite a large selection of tween styles in our store. We go to the international trade shows to find new product. French, Italian and German frame companies make eyewear with an assortment of colors that appeal to the tween market. Many of our young customers like rimless eyewear with colorful trims, such as T2 with its vibrant zyl hinges and temples.”
—ELIZABETH MOORE, OWNER/OPTICIAN, SOLO BAMBINI, BURLINGAME, CALIF.



From top: BARON KIDS B2K02 from Optimate; J-14 8019 from Avalon Eyewear; BARBIE 511 from Rem Eyewear;

“Our practice is family oriented, so we make certain to have frames for tweens and teens. I frequently get the best ideas on styles and colors by asking our teen patients and my own teenage daughter which frames they are most attracted to. Teens these days are very brand-oriented. They are also eager to select more adult styles. Oakley, Coach, Juicy and Kate Spade are favorites even for the pre-teens. Petite adult-sized frames are also popular for the in-between eye sizes.”
—BEVERLY JUE-SMITH, OD, SAN RAMON FAMILY OPTOMETRY, SAN RAMON, CALIF.

“There is definitely a lot of product available for tweens— everything from simplistic styles to bolder looks. The rimless kids’ Silhouettes are popular and so are Guess and Tommy Hilfiger. Then there are the bright styles of the Menizzi line that sell very well here.”
—ERIC SILVERSTEIN, OWNER/OPTICIAN, TEST-RITE OPTICIANS/THE WIZARD OF EYES, LIVINGSTON, N.J.

 

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