The next few months are vital for retailers targeting the junior customer. While some may argue that there really is no longer a true back-to-school season since many teens tend to wait until they start school to shop for clothes, it still has to be a big season for retailers.

With the economy still struggling, stores have to make up for last year. Due to a sea of denim and too much of one trend a year ago, the numbers across the board were poor. To archive better numbers this time, retailers are making some changes.

As reported, John Lonski, an economist with Moody’s Investors Service, said he was encouraged by the smaller-than-expected dip in the monthly Consumer Confidence index for June. Looking ahead, he said that, while he expects business conditions and consumer confidence to stabilize throughout the summer, there is an opportunity for job creation later this summer and into September, further boosting confidence. For retailers, this leads to expectations of a better showing in same-store sales for the b-t-s season.

Wet Seal, for example, is refocusing its core inventory with a relaunch of private label denim brand Blue Asphalt.

“We’re very focused on casual and lifestyle,” Susan O’Toole, president of the Wet Seal division, told WWD last month. “We’re editing everything against the 16-year-old and it’s more than just denim. It’s active and great casual bottoms whether suede or corduroy.”

Things are also looking up for Aeropostale.

The specialty retailer posted double-digit increases in its profits and sales, as earnings surged 18.1 percent to $31.3 million and sales increased 36.2 percent to $550.9 million, driven by a same-store sales gain of 6.6 percent and an increase of 89 new stores.

In order to continue this momentum through b-t-s, Aeropostale is planning to pump up promotional activity and have less inventory in stores.

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