American Eagle Outfitters has finally thrown in the towel on its Martin + Osa lifestyle brand, which targeted 28-40 year old men and women. This comes less than a year after the demise of Abercrombie & Fitch's Ruehl 925 nameplate. Ruehl had targeted 22-35 year olds.
The failure of fashion retailers to get traction in the post-university age group is in contrast to their efforts with tweens, since abercrombie, Gap Kids, Justice and others have had a fair measure of success.
This suggests that once people have moved on from college into professional life they are looking for a better value proposition in clothing than the lifestyle gimmick that A&F and American Eagle threw at them. That is to say, this age group may have the means to spend more, but they are more discerning about the product too. This, by the way is the same problem that Gap and Banana Republic (and the unfortunate Eddie Bauer) are confronting as they battle it out with fast fashion retailers like Zara and H&M.
The inability of fashion chains to seriously get beyond the teenage demographic in their niche branding efforts is bad news for shopping owners too. Any time the mass market rejects attempts at segmentation, it means there will be fewer new concept stores rolled out to add freshness to the tenant mix and take all that specialty store space.