This one is simple, folks.
Go run your comp segment analysis, segmented by age of customer. Look at 2x buyers, and if you are a cataloger, segment by customers age 18-49, customers age 50-64, and customers age 65+. If you don't have enough customers age 18-49 to run the analysis, you already know your answer.
But if you do, and you see this (on an annual basis), then you have a merchandise/age interaction problem.
- 18-49 Customers: This Year Comp = -10%. Last Year Comp = -9%.
- 50-64 Customers: This Year Comp = -3%. Last Year Comp = -4.
- 65+ Customers: This Year Comp = +7%. Last Year Comp = +4%.
- Overall 2x File: This Year Comp = +1%. Last Year Comp = -1%.
This is the signature. Older customers love your merchandise. Customers under the age of fifty are running (not walking) away from the business.
On the surface, the business is fine ... flat comps over two years.
But under the covers, younger customers do not like the assortment, while older customers crave the assortment.
Run the analysis. It isn't hard to run a comp segment analysis. Seriously. Go do it!
And if you don't have the resources to run the analysis, contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Contact me soon, too. You want the results before you get too far into 2016 to do anything about it, right?