Loftex Looks to Gen Y to Snap up Beach Towels

Carole Sloan, March 7, 2010

Gen Y is different. And Loftex set out to find out how different in a narrow business category: beach towels.

“We started in beach towels five years ago, and even today most retailers haven’t looked at the category with a fresh eye,” observed Gretchen Dale, president.

To attempt to dig beneath the surface of how Gen Yers view the products, Loftex held a focus group with 25 students at the Fashion Institute of Technology here.

“We put them in front of an array of beach towels, past and present, and asked for opinions,” she said. “The idea in the past was that the bigger and heavier beach towels were the better. And design was dominated by dolphins, lighthouses and shells. But that’s definitely not the way they think,” she said.

What the group wanted, she emphasized, were beach towels that were very lightweight, quick drying, very absorbent and oversized in contrast to what the market typically offers. “Price was important but not as much as these other characteristics,” Dale told HTT.

As far as design is concerned, “they wanted looks that are very ready-to-wear oriented – giant whole flowers versus little allover designs, in interesting colors that mixed cool and warm.”

They also wanted towels that could be joined together for two or more people. The result is a new Loftex collection called It’s a Snap, Cabana Stripe, a range of multi-color stripes in aqua/white, black/white, fuchsia/white, lime/white, purple/white and yellow/white.

“The towels can snap together easily and the color values all work together,” Dale said.

The product for market addresses these ideas. “It’s no longer just what we did last year. This new generation is looking for different things,” she emphasized.

It’s a Snap measures 40 inches by 72 inches and two to four towels can snap together. Retail will be approximately $12.99.

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