To Reach The Unreachable Teen

Retailers are trying a whole-lifestyle approach to win Gen Y

David Garman, a 16-year-old from Geneva, N.Y., is no shopaholic. Garman typically buys clothes just before the start of school or over Christmas, spending little time during the rest of the year cruising the mall for fashion. But lately he has taken to reading the Skechers shoe catalog. Why? The magazine-catalog hybrid, or "magalog," combines stories on celebrities and trends--including one on feng shui, the Far Eastern art of placing buildings and furniture to facilitate harmony with nature--with the usual product information. While David already planned to order Skechers sandals, he says those stories make the catalog and brand more appealing. "It does make it more interesting," he says. "Just staring at shoes for a while gets boring."

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