Washington Post noted Forever 21's and similar brands' ability to quickly add new styles to stores shelves.Social media is a tool for aiding teens to meet this demand.
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This correlation has caused most of the articles I've read about to be overcast with the same stubborn rhetoric of economic struggles being the sole catalyst to this dramatic shift in consumer behavior.
These articles repeatedly emphasize the low cost of the ascendant brand, Forever 21 without adding more context.
The words cheap and fast fashion have co-opted Forever 21's complex narrative and thus has camouflaged how the interaction between economic events and cultural shifts fueled their growth.
In a Reuters article, Challenger, Gray and Christmas explained that it was lowered teen employment inducing the decline, as if teen employment was an easy fix for these teen brands to secure market share.
While Abercrombie and Fitch CEO, Mike Jeffries, in the same article commented that "youth spending has likely diverted to other categories".
This implies that other [insert uncool] categories, such as electronics, are holding the hostage the cash for fashion.
He then makes the assumption that Abercrombie and Fitch are still the top choice among teens once spending in other [uncool] categories abate.
He is obscuring the issue by looking at the fashion industry as an aggregate and avoiding a reflective discussion of market share.
In another Reuters article, Sun Trust Robinson Humphrey Capital Markets analyst Pamela Quintiano keenly observed that “customers are spending on apparel” very selectively but her focus was still firmly planted on economics, specifically teen employment The Great Recession has subtly increased the importance of psychological and esteem effects of fashion thus intensifying the need for the perfect purchase.
This psychological pressure has changed shopping behavior.
The combination of low cost and fast fashion has made shopping even more gratifying in difficult financial times.