Piper Jaffray's new "Taking Stock With Teens" survey has confirmed what teen retailers have been reporting: Among the 8,100 teens surveyed, with a median age of 16.7 years, spending on clothes is down 19%.
A bigger surprise, however, is that they are actually spending more on shoes -- a 9% increase, according to the 17th semiannual survey, and 8% more on accessories. In fact, shoes are hot: "Footwear posted the strongest year-over-year and sequential results at a 4% and 21% gain respectively," the Minneapolis-based brokerage firms says in its report -- "an indication that the strong footwear cycle, particularly relative to the weakness in apparel, continues for the youth demographic."
Overall, teen spending fell 14%. "The decrease in spending leads us to believe that the economy is forcing parents and teens to cut back on spending across the board," the report adds. "Teens and their parents are still buying new clothes, footwear and accessories, but 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."