S P OT L I G H T I N G S TO R E S N AT I O N W I D E
ON A ROLL
KEEPING UP WITH THE DESIRES OF THE FICKLE
TWEEN CROWD HAS BEEN THE KEY TO SUCCESS
FOR BETWEEN SCENE. BY CALETHA CRAWFORD
JUST LOOKING INSIDE one of the two Between of stocking sizes 7 to 14 for girls and 8 to 20 for boys.
Scene boutiques will instantly give you an idea of who For the past two years, she had brought in girls’ 4 to
the stores target. Brightly colored walls, skate- and 6X due to customer demand. However, “We’re so
surf-inspired décor, ongoing Xbox competitions and strong in tween that people didn’t know we carried
runway photos projected onto flatscreen TVs prove the smaller sizes,” she reported. Kubera would like
irresistible lures for tween shoppers. This youthful, to see more lines—both casual and dressy—continue
exciting vibe is exactly what owner Mary Kubera their run through size 16. “We have girls who are 10
had in mind when she launched the Baton Rouge, or 11 who have already outgrown our store,” she said.
La., store five years ago, and she has carried the same “It’s tough for moms who have nowhere else to go.”
energy and enthusiasm over to Dallas, where she Though Kubera has downsized her boys’ depart-
opened a second location 18 months ago. ment over the years, she said she has found some
“My vision was to make a tween store they could success with dresswear. “Customers might go some-
relate to that was fun and vibrant,” Kubera said. To tap where else for casual wear, but they will spend more
into what kids want, she enlisted the help of her son, on a nice blazer, slacks or shirt,” she said, adding that
who was 8 at the time. He suggested video games as a Ike Behar is her go-to label, while Quiksilver, Volcom
way to entice would-be shoppers who spied the graph- and Element rule the casual selection.
ics through the windows, and he continues to advise Today, Between Scene stores make for a kid’s one-
on which brands and styles are hitting with his peers. stop shop, a place where tweens will find everything
In general, Kubera has found success whenever from underwear to shoes. But Kubera admitted that
she consults the youngsters in her store. She spends she had initially underpurchased one important area:
lots of time on the sales floor interacting with her gifts. Over time, “I added more accessories because
young customers, chatting them up about what they the kids come in looking for birthday gifts,” she said,
like and why. She’s even instituted a Fashion Board, a noting their target price point is about $20 to $25.