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Wednesday, 16 August, 2000, 11:09 GMT 12:09 UK
Tweenagers rule the High Street
Fashion designers are appealing to younger audiences
Fashion designers are appealing to younger audiences
First there were teenagers, now a new group of young people has emerged as a key target group for fashion-conscious companies.

The tweenagers, children aged between 10 and 13, are the group with the fastest-rising spending power on the High Street, according to a new report by market research company Datamonitor.


Manufacturers are becoming more blatant in their efforts to target children, as traditional taboos on advertising directly to the child are being eroded.

Datamonitor
Datamonitor says that they now have average pocket money of 150 per year, or 3 per week, compared to just over 200 per year for 14 to 17 year olds, and it is growing at 5% each year.

More importantly, the tweenagers are able to influence their family's purchases by the use of rational argument as well as pestering them.

And according to Datamonitor, "manufacturers are becoming more blatant in their efforts to target children, as traditional taboos on advertising directly to the child are being eroded."

Power to manufacturers

The tweenage market has developed as teenage behaviour is copied by younger age groups, who want their own fashion brands and aspire to increasing sophistication.

The trend is evident throughout the world
The trend is evident throughout the world
Datamonitor says that simple marketing devices for example, including toys with products, are increasingly ineffective with this group.

Tweenagers are very aware of brands and influenced by peer pressure, but appealing to them can be a tricky business for companies.

"They have to be very precise. If they target their adverts too low, the tweenagers will think they are being patronised. But if they target them too high, the tweenagers will think the product is too mature for them," said Piers Berazai of Datamonitor.

Social trends

According to Datamonitor, the increase in tweenager spending is driven by simple demographics.

Some stores now target 10-13 year olds
Some stores now target 10-13 year olds
Parents are having fewer children later, often after both partners have established careers, and therefore have additional discretionary income to spend on them.

In addition, busy parents are spending less time with their children, and spending more money on them may be a compensation for the guilt some of them feel.

Finally, the increasing incidence of divorce means that some children are able to manipulate parents who only spend a limited amount of time with them.

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09 Sep 99 | Your Money
1.5bn? That's pocket money
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