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Is Millennial Pink Making a Splash at Retail?

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Is it time to shed those rose-colored glasses? The hype surrounding “millennial pink” is reaching a fever pitch, thanks in part to an in-depth article by New York Magazine, which chronicled the color’s path to fame. Meanwhile, footwear designers continue dabble in pink, carrying the salmon-meets-rosé color into their Fall ’17 collections.

However, retail data firm Edited suggests that buyers might want to slow their roll. While millennial pink makes a strong statement in merchandising and advertising—especially on Instagram where the color was virtually birthed—it doesn’t necessarily result in strong sales.

Edited examined the selling power of millennial pink merchandise, finding that new pink arrivals are down 14 percent in the luxury category, however they are up 9.4% in the mass market (where most millennials spend) and up one percent in the premium market.

Specifically, Edited looked at eight millennial-focused retailers, including Asos, Topshop and Urban Outfitters, and found that millennial pink’s growth is less impressive than other major millennial fads, including ruffle dresses, velvet and bardot tops.

To compare pink’s power to spring’s biggest footwear trend, the mule, Edited found that new arrivals of the backless silhouette are up 51 percent, while new arrivals of millennial pink products are up just 29 percent. And to top it off, even bomber jackets, which are on the decline in terms of newness, are currently outselling pink. Edited reported that pink performs best on cold-shoulder tops ranking third after black and white, but it is the seventh most popular color for mules.

So where does this leave retailers? Back to black, perhaps. Edited reported that basic black is up this year by three percent from one year ago. Unless marketers and brands can spin Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year into “Gen Z Greenery.”

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