Financial technology start-up Current has released a snapshot of US teen spending over the summer, and the good news is that some of that money was spent on cosmetics, not just burgers and movie tickets.
The data, which aggregates the spending of 13 to 16-year-old Current debit card users, shows that American teens spent $31 a week on average from June 1 through Aug. 26. Average weekly spending increased steadily with age, with 16-year-olds spending $38.98 a week, according to Current’s data.
A variety of retail segments—including clothing and accessory stores, discount and convenience stores, pharmacies, toy and hobby stores, and cosmetic stores— captured 52.2% of retail spending.
Current said that Sephora and Ulta Beauty together captured the lion’s share of sales, and four retailers accounted for nearly 80% of teen summer spendind on cosmetics.
Here’s a breakdown of where they spent their funds (in the cosmetic sector), as provided by Current:
Where else did these teens spend their money? Food and drink accounted for 40.6% of spending. Entertainment accounted for remainder of retail spending, with 3.7% spent at movie theaters and 3.5% spent at parks and museums.
Video games represented the largest category of ecommerce, accounting for 40.3% of money spent online, according to Current, which provides an app-controlled debit card that can be used by teens. An app tracks their balance, allows them share money with friends and provides parents a means to transfer funds, automate allowances and institute spending controls.
And let’s not forget college students. With consumer confidence rising and more young people in school, back-to-college spending is expected to hit an all-time high this year, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey.
In fact, total spending for school and college combined is projected to reach $83.6 billion, a more than 10% increase from last year’s $75.8 billion, according to NRF.
College shoppers will spend that money on clothes, electronics and dorm room furniture, but 35% will spent on be on so-called “nonessentials,” which includes personal care items (see NRF chart below for details).
We don't want to argue, but our industry would certainly disagree about that designation. Things like toothpaste, shampoo and deodorant are pretty essential when one's headed out to that first Frat party.
(This story was updated on Sept. 6, 2017).