- In the midst of a tween clothing resurgence, The Children's Place on Tuesday announced the launch of Sugar & Jade, its new tween apparel, accessories and footwear brand, according to company information sent to Retail Dive.
- The new DTC brand is launching with five apparel and accessory collections in sizes 8 to 22 and can be found at sugarandjade.com.
- The digital-first brand includes free shipping and returns with no minimum purchase requirements, and has a loyalty program with purchase rewards, and access to events and special offers.
With the tween apparel market estimated to be worth $8 billion, The Children's Place said that it is "uniquely positioned to retain our tween customer as she transitions from The Children's Place brand to her next style stage," according to CEO Jane Elfers.
The apparel category is going through a time of change. Mall-based specialty brands, which were once the preference of both tweens and teens, fell out of favor over the past two decades. Now many are making changes to regain market share. Gap last year launched a collection that focused on sustainability — an issue important to younger consumers. Janie and Jack, an apparel retailer that typically focuses on clothing for babies and small children, recently had a soft launch of tween apparel for all genders.
As recently as last week, Pacsun opened its first Pacsun Kids store in the Mall of America, with plans to expand to an additional five locations next year. That brand offers genderless apparel and caters to ages 4 to 14. Additionally, last week Francesca's announced its tween-focused brand, Franki, would become a stand-alone entity.
It's not just specialty retailers that are seeing an opportunity to cater to tweens. Walmart this fall expanded its Free Assembly private label into the children's category, with sizes available from 5 to 18. This followed a partnership with Justice — which was once a tween apparel powerhouse — just in time for the back-to-school shopping season.
"We have over four million customers to whom we are immediately marketing this exciting new brand, and we will deploy an 'always on' strategy that drives customer acquisition, while also migrating the current The Children's Place customer to Sugar & Jade at the appropriate moment in their purchase journey," Elfers said in a statement.
The Children's Place has been through a number of operational shifts over the past few years and implemented a turnaround that focused on product, international, business technology and alternate channels of distribution. In 2020, the retailer took a hard hit due to pandemic disruption and posted an operational loss of around $200 million. Since then, it has been steadily reducing its store footprint and announced the closure of 300 stores following a boost in e-commerce sales. The company has recently gone through a rebound after recent strong earnings.