Delia’s rocks, to quote the lingo of its target demographic. In fact, what sets the site apart from other retailers catering to the juniors crowd is how the Web store tunes into the moods and attitudes of teen females born since 1976.
Founder Steve Kahn started the business with a catalog aimed at collegiates. He switched gears when he discovered that most orders were coming from the under-20 crowd. Kahn branched out with a Delia’s Web store in 1998 and last spring spun off the online business into a separate unit called iTurf. Besides its Delias.com flagship, iTurf operates several other e-commerce sites for the youth market.
Delia’s funky graphics and bold pictures resemble a teen magazine-one reason fans gravitate to it. Analysts also credit Delias.com for understanding that its audience loves to shop. “They really speak to the recreational shopper-someone who clicks on every single link,” says Duif Calvin at IXL.
Trendy apparel and accessories aren’t the only lures. Delia’s offers free CDs of alternative music with each $75 purchase, free interactive chats with celebrities like Tori Amos and the U.S. Women’s Soccer Players, and fun magazine-like features such as horoscopes and dream interpretations
Delia’s success has hinged on its ability to speak authentically to its audience. But old-fashioned features like Discount Domain, a sales bin offering 50-70% off regular price merchandise, aren’t hurting business either.