Justice clothesYou might not have heard of tween-focused chain Justice, but young girls are swooning over its fashions. In fact, girls age 7 to 12 now call the specialty retailer their main clothing crush, as opposed to their former steady, Target (TGT).

For the 12-month period that ended in March, Justice sold more tween girls clothing than Target: The chain owned an 11% market share among 7- to 12-year-old fashionistas in training, according to David Jaffe, president and CEO of Justice parent company Ascena Retail Group (ASNA), during the Piper Jaffray consumer conference in New York this week. He was citing data from the market research firm the NPD Group.Justice clothes

So how did value-priced Justice win the hearts of these young ladies and eclipse the cheap-chic discounter, which has a 10.4% share of the market?

"We think we're more fashionable than Target," Jaffe told DailyFinance. (The Ascena group also owns apparel chains Dress Barn and Maurices chain, and is in the process of acquiring Charming Shoppes, parent company of Lane Bryant and Fashion Bug.)

Justice prides itself on having its finger on the pulse of tween style, boasting a huge assortment of trendy fashion and accessories -- be they for the sporty girl or the dressy girl, Jaffe said.

A trip to Justice's website turned up a "trend alert" section that listed the "newest styles every girl's gotta have," from sequined one-shoulder tops to tie-dye cropped tees and skinny colored jeans in the bright hues that are all the rage right now.

But "It's not just about apparel -- it's all about [addressing] that lifestyle for the little girl," he said. "It's all the accessories -- [from] what they want to bring to a slumber party, to hair stuff and body care."

Justice's "cata-zines" (catalog/magazines), promotional email blasts and loyalty discount perks -- 90% of its merchandise is sold at 40%-off sales -- have also helped it win over tweens, Jaffe said.

Only Walmart, with a 12.5% market share, sells more clothes to tweens, according NPD figures -- and that might soon change, Jaffe said. Justice has an opportunity to eclipse the world's biggest retailer in its little niche, because Walmart recently "decided that they're just not going after fashion," he said. Stay tuned.

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Nikki Smith

Like it its nice blog from you! Barbara Thau
and I will read all of your blog today

June 12 2012 at 10:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Fashion will keep changing itself but the choice of most of the people do not change with the change of fashion so I dont think there is much fear for Target.

June 12 2012 at 4:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

apparellently fashion is jumping the pond from euro to the english isle - looks like a mix of mod/hippy to me

June 07 2012 at 8:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Fine, just what they need. ANother department store that caters to the YOUNGSTERS.

June 06 2012 at 11:27 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Target doesn't sell only clothes they sell many things including markets. It means nothing.

June 06 2012 at 10:46 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

My daughter has many clothes that were purchased at Justice. These clothes were purchased for birthdays and Christmas. The clothes are very overpriced and do not last. Their shoes are also poor quality. I am happy to buy her clothes at Target. She is twelve. I am happy that she likes the clothes at Target. I don't want her to get caught up in the expensive, trendy stores. Justice clothes are also very "mature" for the CHILDREN that they market to.

June 06 2012 at 7:50 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Kathleen Vaughn

I would prefer if Target would eliminate their clothing and expand jewelry, accessories, lingerie and underwear.....

June 06 2012 at 6:55 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply

Yes, Justice has the cutest clothes but affording it, is a different thing. I recently bought my daughter 2 cami tank tops and spent over $22 on something she wears under other shirts. Go to Ross, Marshalls or TJMaxx, they have the same styles for 50% cheaper plus brand names and clearances too. Just went to Marshalls today and got me 2 Calvin Klein bras for $12!!

June 06 2012 at 6:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Keep on supporting GAYS and LESBIANS and continue losing customers.

June 06 2012 at 4:47 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

As a mom, I have to be very careful with my daughter at this store. Justice is full of trampy clothes that NO 7-12 year old should be wearing. There is no reason for a child to need a strapless padded bra! Kids can be fashionable without dressing as if they are practicing for a career in stripping.

June 06 2012 at 4:26 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply