Even Teens Are Spending Less During the Pandemic

October 6, 2020

Concerns about the economy have even impacted America’s teens, with the group spending less money than they have in decades. Teen spending amounted to $2,150 this year, according to Piper Sander’s biannual report. That amounts to a drop of 9%, and well below the peak of $3,023 reached in 2006.

Teens spent the most money on apparel, with the average teen spending about $507 per year, down 11% from last fall. More teens are also shopping online, with 90% saying they’ve shopped online this fall. The embrace of online shopping may be bad news for the longterm health of department stores, with just 33% of teens saying they’ve shopped at a department store or specialty retailer this fall.

Teens’ anxiety about the economy is also growing, with 48% saying they think the economy is getting worse, up from just 32% a year ago. This growing anxiety may be driving teens to look for bargains in thrift and secondhand stores. More than half, 58%, said they have sold items on online secondhand retailers, while 46% have purchased items secondhand. Thrift and consignment stores have risen to 13th place in teens’ favorite brands or retailers, a big jump from 44th place last year.

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