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Shopping loyalty changes frequently among fickle teens

Stores that are popular with teens are subject to change
Stores that are popular with teens are subject to change
Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Teens, especially teen girls, love to shop. Selecting the right clothes is important to teens for both social affiliation and social influence. According to the Piper Jaffray “Taking Stock with Teens” Market Research Project, teens cite “friends” as the strongest influence over what they buy, but the Internet is quickly becoming an important source for buying decisions. About 53% of teen girls and 52% of teen boys say that social media impacts their purchases with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram being most influential.

The stores that had been most popular with teens such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale and American Eagle are rapidly losing popularity among teens. Instead, stores such as Forever 21 is rising in popularity. Teens love the large selection, fast turnover and low prices that are offered by Forever 21. Urban Outfitters is another retailer whose popularity is rising among teens. Retailers that offer both traditional stores and an online presence seem to be most popular among teens. Teens have little patience for stores that don’t offer an online experience and an app, as they like to integrate their shopping experience.

With parents contributing more than 50% to teens’ shopping budgets, teens spend about 40% of their total budget on clothes. They tend to be frugal, with more than 60% of boys and girls shopping at discount stores and outlets. Teens are, perhaps surprisingly, sophisticated shoppers who have a strong influence on the retail market and are often heavily targeted by advertisers.