According to the U.S. Census Bureau the population of teens (age 12-17), in 1999 was 23.4 million, which represents 8.6% of the total U.S. population. Teenagers influence $324 billion in spending annually, have $151 billion in disposable income, spend $24 billion annually, and will spend $1.2 billion online by 2002. Teens spend an average of $82 per week on entertainment, fashion, food, and technology. These young people dubbed "Generation Y" dominate almost all facets of popular culture and are the fastest-growing demographic under age 65.
Specialty youth clothes and products is a billion dollar niche in the clothing industry. Over the past ten years, there has been a profound change in population dynamics in the U.S. The non-metropolitan population has been growing at the almost the same rate as the urban population. Evansville's current population is 150,000 residents. The city is 250 miles from the closest urban center. Consequently, Evansville's young people don't live near a large urban center that offers the diversity in clothing products that the youth culture demands. This has created a small market niche for businesses to sell clothing and products. This is particularly true in communities with a major college located in the community, like Evansville.
Currently, only two regional malls offer access to the fashion and styles that young people want. Unfortunately, the focus of these mall stores is only on the mainstream of the youth market. Alternative clothing and products are rarely available outside urban areas. This is true because the companies that create the clothing and products are small and sell primarily through urban specialty shops.
It is SmokeJumpers' plan to bring these new alternative fashion and products to its target customer groups.
SmokeJumpers will capitalize on the following characteristics of Generation Y:
It is SmokeJumpers' plan to create a business identity that will capitalize on the subculture affiliation and attitude of our target customers. SmokeJumpers will focus on three significant customer groups: