It looks like trafficking in nostalgia works: A recent report from Cambridge Analytica highlights Urban Outfitters and Hot Topic among the most popular retailers for millennial shoppers. The data analysis firm compiled responses from an internal survey of 220 million consumers, first reported by WWD, on where they have shopped over the past six months. Among the respondents' recent purchases, around 23 percent of those who shopped at Urban Oufitters were within the millennial age range, while Hot Topic is close behind with around 17 percent. Charlotte Russe, a trend-focused retail chain that likely rivals with Forever 21, is also another top choice among millennials, according to Cambridge Analytica's data.
While we've been tracking the retail success of Urban Outfitters and Hot Topic's chic-again comeback for some time, Cambridge Analytica's latest evidence shows that these strategies are certainly striking a chord among those born during the '80s and '90s. Retailers, most especially Urban Outfitters, have been banking on millennial nostalgia since the fall, offering logo-heavy throwback capsule collections from Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Wrangler, sportswear brands, like Fila and Umbro, and more. Since these collaborations hit the sales floor, Urban Oufitters has reported a significant spike in sales as of last August. Its latest nostalgic release, a Juicy Couture velour tracksuit, will likely be a hit through 2017.
Hot Topic has also been a rising trend on the runway, particularly at the Alexander Wang and Vetements fall 2016 shows, as well as celebrities and the spring 2017 menswear shows. (We even recreated our own fashion-worthy looks by shopping at Hot Topic, too.) As we approach spring and summer, a time when retailers' campaigns heavily target music festival season, it will be interesting to see if the nostalgia and mall-goth-leaning aesthetic continues.