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Teens Increase Beauty Spending

February 1, 2013

It appears that teens are growing more comfortable with spending their money (or their parents’ money) once again—and that’s good news for the cosmetics industry.

Piper Jaffray’s 23rd semi-annual “Taking Stock With Teens” survey shows early signs of improved discretionary spending in areas such as fashion and beauty.

Teens are spending more on discretionary items like cosmetics, according to Piper Jaffray.
“Our Spring 2012 survey results provide confirmation that we are in the early stages of a clearly defined discretionary spending cycle,” said Jeff Klinefelter, director of research and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray. “Double-digit increases in spending on a sequential and year-over-year basis for both upper- and average-income teens and similar strength in spending intentions, signal improved confidence in the overall environment and a willingness to spend more broadly on key categories of interest.”

Beauty spending by upper-income teens increased 8% sequentially and 6% year-over-year. For average-income teens, beauty spending increased 21% sequentially and 18% year-over-year.

Skin care and cosmetics represented a larger share of overall beauty spending, and the “beauty” spending gap between upper- and average-income teens continues to narrow, according to Piper Jaffray.

Teens are demanding greater diversity of cosmetics offerings, evidenced by a notable reduction in brand preference concentration. This trend supports Piper Jaffray’s view that young and emerging cosmetics brands, many of which are coming to the market with new or superior innovations, are gaining traction with teen consumers.

Piper Jaffray contends that this bodes well for specialty retailers of beauty products, such as Ulta and Sephora.

MAC remained the No. 1 cosmetics brand for upper-income teens while CoverGirl was once again the No. 1 brand for average-income teens. Victoria’s Secret remains the preferred fragrance for teens across both income segments, which is consistent with the past eight surveys.

The Taking Stock With Teens survey is a research project comprised of gathering input from approximately 5,600 teens with an average age of 16.3 years.

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