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11/04/2021

First Look: PacSun opens gender-free store for kids at Mall of America

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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PacSun is expanding its retail portfolio with a format devoted to kids.

The teen apparel retailer has opened PacSun Kids — a new PacSun brand —adjacent to its location at Mall of America, Bloomington, Minn. (There is also a connecting entrance through the main PacSun store.) The line, introduced in July, is designed entirely without gender and features clothing in an age range from 4- to 14-years-old.  Looking to 2022, Pacsun plans to open an additional 5 Pacsun Kids stores. 

Colorful and high-energy, the 1,435-sq.-ft. PacSun Kids store has no specific “girl or boy” styles or fits. The merchandise assortment ranges from graphic tees and fleece sweats to outerwear and bottoms of every type. The clothing has been created with a heavy emphasis on sustainability, self-expression and comfortable fabrics that kids actually want to wear, according to Pacsun.

“At PacSun, we want our consumers to be free to express themselves and choose what they want to wear without boundaries, which was the driving factor behind introducing our Pacsun Kids label, completely without gender,” said Brie Olson, president, PacSun. “Expanding our offerings at the store level at Mall of America, where we’ve offered our main collection for years, was very important to us to continue empowering our youngest consumers yet to pick what they want from a PacSun label and store created just for them.”

[Read More: Teen apparel retailer debuts gender-neutral brand]

The company is celebrating the opening of PacSun Kids with a seasonal in-store QR code for a special holiday Instagram filter that offers customers the opportunity to be featured alongside an animated deer in photo and selfie mode. In additional in-store digital efforts, a guest influencer will host a shopping livestream for online consumers to connect with PacSun and purchase new holiday offerings from the brand in time for the holiday season and gift-giving.

[Read More: Pacsun targets teens with digitally-focused holiday promotion]

PacSun said the brands it has chosen to curate and launch alongside its new kids  line include Vans, Champion, Santa Cruz and others that embody the ethos of gender-free dressing.

“PacSun’s commitment from a brand and lifestyle perspective is to embrace positivity, inclusivity, and the unique spirit of the brand’s California roots,” the company stated. “With the launch of PacSun Kids, Pacsun hopes to attract new customers, and more importantly, cater to the community of kids who love the PacSun brand and have not quite aged into the brand yet.”

“The PacSun brand has continued to grow and thrive at Mall of America throughout the past 26 years,” said Heather Brechbill-Swilley, senior VP of Leasing for Mall of America. “PacSun Kids’ commitment to self-expression and celebrating individuality among youth is an inspiring addition to our tenant mix and is sure to bring many positive shopping experiences to our younger guests.”

In July, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. unveiled a new standalone, gender-neutral concept for its Gilly Hicks brand. The store, at Easton Town Center in Columbus, does not separate the women’s and men’s departments. The product is merchandised by fabric and end-use rather than by gender.