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Teen Spending is Down, But Personal Care Stabilizes

November 30, -0001

Dude, this whole economy thing is putting the squeeze on teen spending.

According to Piper Jaffray’s 17th semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens survey, a challenging economy and low consumer confidence has led to a decline in teen spending in areas such as fashion (-4%), footwear (-9%) and accessories (-8%). And while beauty spending is also down from last year, Piper Jaffray contends it is stabilizing from fall 2008 as lower-price categories of fragrance and cosmetics outpace skin care and department stores continue to cede share to discount, drug and specialty stores.

“After the drop in teen spending stabilized last fall, it is apparent that the continued challenges in the economy are having a dramatic impact on teen spending this spring,” said senior research analyst Jeff Klinefelter. “The decrease in spending leads us to believe that the economy is forcing parents and teens to cut back on spending across the board.”

According to Mr. Klinefelter, teens and their parents are still buying, but they are more selective and increasingly price conscious. “This will force retailers to discount prices and offer unique promotions to keep a steady flow of spending until the economy improves,” he added.

For the study, a Piper Jaffray’s team visited nine cities across the U.S., surveying approximately 600 students with an average age of 16.3 years. In partnership with DECA (the association of marketing students), Piper Jaffray captured online survey responses from an additional 7,500 students with an average age of 16.7 years.

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