According to the Piper Jaffray 27th semi-annual “Taking Stock With Teens” market research project, teen spending contracted just 1% from the Fall of 2013, compared to more substantial declines previously. Across both the upper and average income groups, teen male spending is up 4% from Fall 2013. This compares to continued mid-single digit declines among females.
Overall, the report notes that parent contribution to teen spending bounced back to the 65% of spend range, following a period of contraction. Teen unemployment remains elevated, but off of peak levels. Time priorities have shifted, showing that advanced placement courses are the norm. Year-round single sport/activities are more common, and school years are starting earlier and ending later (shortening the opportune summer employment period).
A quick snapshot of the survey results, including fashion, beauty and personal care, restaurants, digital media, gaming, and wireless communication includes the following:
Influences remain consistent, with friends dominating both upper income and average income. followed by the Internet, says the report. The Internet first displaced television as the No. 2 influencer with teens in the Fall 2010 survey, and the report indicates that this uptrend will likely continue as social networking and online shopping drive teens online. Instagram and Twitter are the two most used social media sites, as teens are increasingly visual and sound bite communicators.
Social Network Utilization by Teens (% of Respondents)
% of Respondents/Most Important
Source: Piper Jaffray, April 2014
More complete information about individual categories is also included:
The teen food category represents restaurants and dining out. The study uncovered a modest increase in spending devoted to events (including concerts, festivals, etc.). Within the fashion category, clothing increased modestly at the expense of footwear and accessories. In addition, there has been a continuation of a lifestyle/participation-based trend in athletic fashion. These data points are evidence of a trend toward experiences versus items worn, and a notable shift in perceived status spending.
Key findings from the survey in fashion, beauty and personal care, restaurants, digital media, gaming, and wireless communication include the following:
The report concludes by noting that survey results point to four distinct fashion themes: stability in demand for Action Sports Brand; moderation in Fast Fashion preference among teen girls; cresting of the refined classic cycle, and evolving demand for fashion athletic brands. In addition to these trends, an increasingly active teen is catering to growing demand for performance athletic brands.
The Taking Stock With Teens survey, in partnership with DECA, includes input from approximately 7,500 teens with an average age of 16.4 years. Data was gathered through visits to a geographically diverse subset of high schools across 12 states, 14 schools and 18 classrooms, as well as an online survey that included 48 states.
For additional information about Piper Jaffray, please visit here.