The Children’s Place isn’t just for kids anymore. While the retailer has sold matching adult and kids pajamas for some time, it has just launched a new brand directly targeting Gen Z and Millennials.
PJ Place is a bona fide digital brand with its own web site experience. The brand is digital-only and not sold in stores. And it has a splashy marketing campaign featuring influencers and celebrities such as Khloé Kardashian, Kris Jenner, Tyler Cameron, CEO of Être Girls, Illana Raia, “The Toast” podcast hosts Claudia and Jackie Oshry, and TikTok stars Rod Thill and Erika Priscilla.
It caps The Children’s Place evolution, where the retailer launched an internet-only brand for tweens, Sugar & Jade, and offers an eponymous omni-channel label and Gymboree, which is available online and in select stores as an in-store shop-in-shop.
“We’re always analyzing our business and looking for opportunities to grow,” said Maegen Markee, senior vice president of marketing at The Children’s Place. “We have a leadership position in sleepwear and we have for some time. When we really dug into that business, over the past few years, our adult sleepwear business has grown exponentially.
“Our current adult sleepwear assortment is very much focused on matching family looks specifically around holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and Halloween,” Markee added. “Pretty much, if there’s a holiday, we have a matching family look for it. Really what’s changed for us in the past three years is the adult business in men’s and women’s has really exploded, so we recognized an opportunity to expand our adult sleepwear assortment and appeal directly to Gen Z and Millennials.”
The new PJ Place women’s and men’s collections include plush pajama sets, loungewear styles, robes, thermal sets, fashion tees, cushy slippers, buttery soft socks, and more. Made with comfortable “live in all day” fabrics with modern design details, PJ Place’s fun, fashionable and festive sleepwear styles are designed to feel cozy every day.
“While our current adult sleepwear assortment focuses almost exclusively on matching family looks, we recognized we had an opportunity to expand our adult sleepwear assortments to appeal directly to the Millennial and Gen Z customer by introducing new fabrics, silhouettes and a touch of whimsy,” said Jane Elfers, President and CEO of The Children’s Place.
“In addition to being a significant market share opportunity within the growing adult sleepwear category, PJ Place will allow a new generation of young Millennials and Gen Z customers to engage with us and build relationships long before they become parents,” Elfers added. “This provides us with the opportunity to maintain and retain these relationships and eventually migrate these future parents to our stable of children’s brands.”
Millennials make up the vast majority of The Children’s Place’s customer base. When the retailer realized how much business it’s already doing with Millennial customers, it quickly saw an opportunity to appeal to a Millennial consumer without just a focus on family, said Markee, adding, “It’s really a natural extension of our core competency.”
Introducing the brand digitally plays directly into the two cohorts’ shopping behaviors. “Launching a digital brand, it’s also focused around our core competency and is a very natural evolution for us,” Markee said, adding that the retailer has 50% digital penetration, which is unheard of, especially in specialty apparel retail.
“This is a young customer, a Millennial and Get Z who’s very digitally native, so knowing that we already have a best in class [online] experience, we can obviously serve through through the digital platform. It was a great next step for us and something that makes sense for the brand.
“PJ Place, is a very separate experience. We have our own branded web site, and we are specifically targeting that Millennial and Gen Z audience to come to that web site, specifically for, and marketing adult products. We’re not requiring that customer to come into a Children’s Place store, or even interact with The Children’s Place brand. We’ve created a true stand-up owned and operated shopping experience and branding experience for PJ Place.
“For the Children’s Place brand, we definitely have an adult who is coming and seeing the matching family assortment and that resonates with them and has been a huge growth opportunity for us,” Markee said. “We’re going to continue to launch adult exclusive product through the PJ Place brand throughout the year that really focuses on style, comfort and value, and expanding the assortment in that kind of core category.
“And then on Children’s Place, we’ve expanded our adult assortment, so specifically for that brand, outside of PJs, we have a graphic Tee program, holiday dresses, and we sell men’s woven shirts. We’re always looking for new opportunities. Certainly with PJ Place we’re going to continue to launch adult exclusive product and lean into that part of the assortment.”