Challenges continue to mount for America’s retailers despite the slowly improving economy.A new research report by WSL Strategic Retail, entitled “How America Shops, Mega Trends Moving on 2012,” came to some startling conclusions. Among them:• 52 percent of Americans are struggling to afford the necessities. • The 18-to-34-year old youth market is no longer retail’s “golden ticket.”• Consumers are less apt to trade up on brands they indulged in before.• Six-figure earners consider themselves “middle-class” and nearly 30 percent in the $100,000 to $150,000 income bracket claim they can only afford the basics.The report is based upon an online survey of 1,950 people nationwide conducted from Dec. 1 to Dec. 12, 2011.“There is a huge fundamental issue when more than half of Americans can only afford basic necessities and people who earn up to $150,000 think they are poor,” said Wendy Liebmann, chief executive officer of WSL Strategic Retail, a New York-based research and consulting firm. As the economy slowly improves, “American shoppers are moving on and coming back to shopping, but at their own pace,” Liebmann added. “As a result, retail sales are precarious and likely to fluctuate up one month, down the next. That’s not going to change any time soon. Brands and retailers cannot ignore this. They will need to re-think the way they do business over the next three to five years or longer.”The youth market, according to Liebmann, has the highest percent of those who don’t have enough money to cover their basic needs, with 24 percent in financial turmoil. “This group is a long way from recovery, compelling retailers targeting this group to seriously rethink their strategies,” Liebmann said.She also has a dire outlook on brands. “Shoppers in general are placing a greater focus on price, with 67 percent of women agreeing that trusted brand names are not worth paying more for.” Twenty-six percent of the women said they previously bought brands they could not afford, but no longer indulge. Key additional findings: 75 percent of women said it’s important to get the lowest price on everything; 68 percent regularly use coupons, and 45 percent only buy on sale. Also, 43 percent of women search online for discounts before they shop, and 14 percent use mobile phones in stores attempting to find lower prices elsewhere.
Exclusive: @longchamp is planning to stage its first official runway show at New York Fashion Week this fall. The French leather goods firm has expanded into ready-to-wear as part of its repositioning as a lifestyle brand. The show, scheduled for September 8, will also cap the brand’s 70th anniversary celebration. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex undertook their first overseas engagement as a married couple in Dublin. The trip included multiple events and outfits changes, including this black dress by @emiliawickstead that Meghan Markle wore for a party at the British Ambassador’s home. #wwdfashion #royals
At 20 years old – and with an estimated net worth of $900 million - @kyliejenner is the youngest person to ever make @forbes’ annual list of America’s Richest #SelfMadeWomen. “It’s incredible to be recognized for something I’m so passionate about, and I’m really grateful for that. I’ve always loved makeup and worked really hard to bring the first lip kit to the market,” said Jenner on founding @kyliecosmetics. See who else is on the list on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @rainerhosch)
“The collection is inspired by Tulum and the Mayan Riviera – its laid-back luxury, life of cabanas, untouched coastline, natural habitats, exotic cocktails and jungle parties with renowned DJs,” said Matteo Maniatty, creative director and cofounder of @descendantofthieves, on the brand’s inspiration for its latest collection. See more designer sketches and inspirations on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #nyfwmens #nyfw
@riccardotisci17 is releasing a limited-edition capsule collection as part of his anticipated runway debut for @burberry in September. Delivered in a series of instant drops, this is the second Burberry capsule collection announced since Friday, when Tisci broke the news on his collaboration with @viviennewestwood. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
“It’s like a Cinderella story. You get a little fake, you get a little real, you put it together and voilà,” said legendary rapper Slick Rick, who helped pioneer the merge of luxury and streetwear. WWD’s @ariahughes spoke to @therulernyc about his jewelry collection, his collaboration with @bally and how the industry has evolved – link in bio. (📷: @kristaschlueter)
@ragandbone and @eminem are teaming up on a special capsule collection of streetwear pieces. Sold at a one-day pop-up in London’s Soho on Friday, the collection features three different T-shirt designs and a hoodie. The capsule is set to kick off the rest of Eminem’s shows in his European Revival Tour, which ends on Sunday. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdfashion