Abercrombie did not return repeated phone calls seeking comment.
More stores are bound to follow in the teenage retailer's footsteps, because girls want what they see on television and what their older sisters wear, said Marshal Cohen, co-president of NPDFashionWorld, a unit of NPD Group, a market information firm in Port Washington, N.Y.
Abercrombie is "all about selling sex, even to the younger kid," he said. "You're going to see people trying to emulate the Abercrombie formula, absolutely."
Retailers insist that their clothes and makeup are appropriately designed for young girls. In fact, much 'tween apparel is cheery and childlike--T-shirts imprinted with the word "Angel," gingham pants and cotton undies decorated with bumblebees.
And not all parents are fretting about the expanding clothing options.
When the topic of thong underwear came up between Pamela Campos and her 13-year-old daughter, Campos at first wondered whether it would "lead to something else." But she decided that "the reason they're wearing it is probably the same reason I would have--to not show a panty line."
News researcher Lois Hooker contributed to this report.