Claire’s is back, and Gen Z is loving it - The Hustle
The Hustle

Claire’s is back, and Gen Z is loving it

The ‘90s tween haven is moving beyond the mall.

Photo by: Don and Melinda Crawford/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

As a millennial mall rat, Claire’s is a brand I feel a weird fondness for even if I never shopped there personally.

I’d pass by on my way between PacSun and Abercrombie & Fitch, and peek inside to spot a customer taking advantage of its free ear piercing.

The mall staple fell on hard times in 2018, declaring bankruptcy and closing 189 stores. But since then, it’s experienced a massive resurgence thanks in part to Gen Z, per Fast Company.

If the mall is dying…

… how exactly is Claire’s thriving? Simply put, it comes down to a combo punch of strategic plays, including:

Further, with rising interest in ‘90s fashion and Y2K nostalgia, Gen Z has naturally gravitated toward the brand’s aesthetic.

What’s next?

While the mall experience is increasingly moving online, Claire’s is doubling down on brick-and-mortar.

The retailer also filed for an IPO last October that could help it raise up to $100m.

If this run of success continues, Claire’s wouldn’t just be giving millennials like me flashbacks to our tween years — they’ll be able to do the same for generations to come.

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