Mr Stoll, consumers select certain brands for many different reasons. According to a recent survey conducted in our textiles panel, male consumers are more likely to turn to brand names for direction, while women above all remain true to their personal style, choosing particular brands in line with their fashion sense. Younger consumers more commonly use brands as a status symbol. In your experience, are there any differences between Street One customers depending on the gender and age of buyers, or any other target groups, and what are they?
Street One offers 12 Young Fashion collections exclusively for women. Our target group is young, fashionably savvy women interested in contemporary fashion. These women find fashion fun! The age structure (which, for Street One, actually covers from 20 to 50 years of age) is not really the deciding factor. What counts more is the feeling for lifestyle. Any woman who feels 30 when she is nearer 50 is our target customer. In fact, we have observed that even a customer who is fifty will demand the fashions a thirty year old might wear, and we have also noted that older customers tend to be rather more loyal and visit our stores more frequently than our younger customers do. However, I couldn’t say that we have observed fundamentally different shopping behavior in the various target groups.
Street One is a label which currently attracts younger consumers in the main. People tend to remain true to some things for the rest of their lives, even with increasing age. Is that the case for Street One? In your experience, do Street One customers remain loyal to the brand as they get older and if so, for how long?
Here, too, I would say that biological age is not as important as how old people feel. Although in essence, our fashions are directed at the type of clothes a thirty year old might wear, they can also be attractive to a fifty year old who feels thirty. Because of the great variety of product groups and the fact that the fashion focus is reviewed monthly, Street One is always in a position to take up the latest trends and get them into the sales outlets very rapidly. Certainly, some of our product groups are cut to younger women, who are quicker to take up fashion trends and expect up-to-the-minute fashions. Our range for the younger woman is completed by the more high-fashion items. Since all the clothes, even of different product groups, fit together well, our customers often like to combine the trendier fashions with items from other product groups to create a great contemporary outfit. We have succeeded in maintaining customer enthusiasm with these ranges over many decades. In concrete terms this means that customers remain loyal to the brand. Every woman, irrespective of age, wants to be admired for her outfit and this is our prime motivation.
These days, the buzz words seem to be “demographic change
Demographic change often hinges on age structure. But from my point of view, the decisive factor is the behavior, the motivational structure and the value system of the customer. The highest growth rates among online users are recorded by the “silver surfers
Some fashion experts believe that the economic situation has an effect on contemporary fashion. Do you agree? If so, in your opinion, what influence on next season’s fashions will the fact that Germany has overcome the crisis so unexpectedly quickly, have?
In principle, consumer sentiment certainly affects fashion: that is an indisputable fact. For example, at the 2009 Milan Fashion Week, many observers spotted a definite crisis-related predominance of somber colors. In spite of the crisis in Germany, our female customers have nevertheless kept up their demand for fashion. We believe, that particularly at times of crisis, that there is a marked demand for good-quality mainstream fashion. Customers will be even more conscious of the price/performance ratio and this is a demand which is deeply imbued in the very DNA of Street One. That’s why the brand is both extraordinarily crisis-resistant on the one hand, but also grows during periods of economic upturn on the other.
Thank you very much for the interview!
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