EYE on GEN Y – Gen Ys, aka Millennials, take fashion at Macy’s to warp speed.

What provoked Macy’s to “go Millennial” and make major changes to attract this generation of fashionistas, ages 12-30?  According to Macy’s CFO Karen Hoguet, Macy’s was not the “store of choice” for clothing with older Millennials.  Why?

All their young lives, Millennials have been bombarded with marketing messages over the Internet, on TV, via their smart phones, and at the movies.  “Normal” to Millennial shoppers means rapid change and instant access.

Fast-fashion retailers outside the U.S. caught onto the Millennial need for speed:

  • Zara’s, a Spanish clothing and accessories retailer, needs just two weeks to develop a new product and get it to stores;
  • Swedish retailer H & M, mixes buzz, speed and high style, and;
  • Uniqlo, a Japanese casual wear designer, manufacturer and retailer, offers high-quality, low-cost, heavily-advertised fashion.

Just how fast can retailing get?

  • The NBC reality TV series “Fashion Star” enables Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and H&M to bid on fashion designs, and the winning bidder can sell the designs immediately after the show, via the Internet, and, in the store the next day.
  • Kohl’s will start selling an exclusive “American Idol” clothing line – April through June – called Authentic Icon to coincide with the 11th season of “American Idol.”

Uber-fashionable “clothing of the moment” is a major departure from putting the fashion focus on expensive, long-term classic clothing.

But, it’s so Gen Y.  🙂