MR. RAGS UPS GIRLS’ APPAREL
LOS ANGELES — Mr. Rags might soon be better known as Miss Rags.
The Long Beach, Calif.-based young men’s retailer, which has been carrying limited girls’ merchandise at its 154 stores for the last few years, is taking a more aggressive foray into the young women’s market.
President Bob Sayre said young women’s merchandise, now accounting for 15 to 20 percent of the mix, will grow to 25 to 50 percent.
“It’s just a huge opportunity for us,” Sayre said, discounting the idea that the decision to branch out came from a soft men’s market.
Sayre said the idea germinated from requests from young women shopping in stores, as well as from female employees.
“We know that it’s a market that’s underserved and we’ve seen a lot of successful retailers that started out in the men’s business and branched out into girls with positive results,” he said.
Mr. Rags is a subsidiary of Chicago-based Claire’s.
Taking on retailers like d.e.m.o. and Up Against the Wall, Mr. Rags is planning on targeting a customer ranging in age from 18 to 30. Key labels will be Baby Phat, Ecko Red, Triple Five Soul, Jordache and Lady Enyce, as well as the Iceburg and Azzure on a test basis.
Senior women’s buyer Amy Cascia said the retailer will concentrate heavily on sexy, stretch silhouettes. Denim jeans will have lace-up and frayed details in a wide range of washes. Skirts, corduroys, fashion knit tops and T-shirts with screen-print treatments will round out the mix.
Price points are expected to be on the moderate side.
“We’re not in a young teenage market, more of the college girl who’s very brand conscious,” Cascia said.