Teens’ Choice: Jeans, Sneakers and Downloads
By George Anderson
The average teenager spends about $3,400 a year, so marketers are very interested in what kids are thinking and what they are planning to buy.
The results of a survey of 700 teenagers in 11 high schools across the country conducted by Piper Jaffray found that kids are moving away from hip-hop fashions to a more preppy
look and, that when it comes to accessorizing, shoes are the thing.
Jeffrey Klinefelter, a senior analyst at Piper Jaffray, told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, “There is a new fashion cycle: a denim cycle, a little more of a preppy cycle.
It’s replacing the khaki/cargo pants cycle.”
And where are teens looking to buy their new preppy clothes? Abercrombie & Fitch, said Mr. Klinefelter. The fashion retailer known for promoting its clothing by not having
models wear much of anything is far and away the leader in this market, according to the analyst.
One retailer that has fallen out of fashion with kids is The Gap. Piper Jaffray reports the chain fell out of the top 10 stores listed by teens as their favorite store for the
first time since the firm began conducting the research back in 2001. Teenagers see The Gap as a store for older people.
In addition to denim, kids are looking to add more shoes to their wardrobe this year. According to the survey, teens will spend 34 percent more this year on shoes. The brands
they are looking to buy are Nike and Steve Madden.
With fashion, it seems, comes music. Teenagers are also going to continue spending money on tunes, although much of that will be via download. Seventy-five percent of respondents
said they would download music from the Internet. According to Piper Jaffray, more teens have CD players in their rooms than dressers.
Moderator’s Comment: How quickly is the teenage consumer market changing? What must retailers participating in this area do to remain competitive? Can
you cite specific examples of what those who are having success at the moment are doing right? –
George Anderson – Moderator