The back-to-school shopping season is right around the corner and with teen spending up, analysts believe the age group will be in the stores well before they hit the books.
According to Christine Chen, specialty retail analyst at Needham & Co. LLC, a San Francisco-based investment firm, stores like Abercrombie & Fitch, Aéropostale and Hollister are stocked with trend-right merchandise that will entice teens.
"Last year it was really the more popular, fashion-oriented girls picking up the skinny jeans and baby-doll styles," Chen explained. "But this year it's everywhere and it seems to be the new uniform for teens."
Chen said that on the negative end, gas prices remain high, but with many of their parents paying to fill their tanks and minimum wages rising, teens will continue to have money to spend.
"The rise in minimum wage has a huge impact on the teen customer," she said. "I know that retailers aren't seeing this as a good thing since they have to pay their employees more money, but for teens, this will give them more money to spend on the three things they love to spend on — food, entertainment and clothing. I think that in the end, retailers will see that the minimum wage hike is a good thing."
That said, teens are consistently looking to buy affordable merchandise, hoping to stretch their money as far as it will go. But the cash is there. According to a survey conducted by MarketResearch.com, the teen population has a total income of $80 billion, and parents spend an additional $110 billion annually on their teen children.
A new survey done by Burson-Marsteller, a New York-based marketing and public relations firm, said teens are big spenders on everything from food and beverages to music and apparel. The company surveyed kids aged 10 to 18 — called "youth-fluentials," or the popular, influencing teens. The survey looked into where and why the age group makes certain purchases.
"Affordability is most important," said Ame Wadler, chief strategic officer at Burson-Marsteller. "Of course the fashion has to be there, but they are most likely to spend their money on items that fit within their own budgets."Dana Telsey, of Telsey Advisory Group, predicts a challenging, but still profitable, b-t-s season, especially since teens have begun shopping earlier.
"One of the most challenging things for retailers is the calendar shift that's happening," Telsey said. "They will need to serve those shopping in July, August and in September, which means they will need to have a lot of buy-now, wear-now product in the stores."
Telsey said stores like American Eagle Outfitters and Forever 21 are sure to have a good season because of their wide teen appeal. Abercrombie & Fitch will also have some "must-have items" for b-t-s and Kohl's has an array of reinvigorated lines ready for fall, she added.
"There is a place for everyone for back-to-school this year," Telsey said. "And that is very promising."
WWD's "Where America Shops" survey, which was completed on May 29 and surveyed 521 teens age 13 to 17, showed that teen spending is on the rise — another indication of a strong b-t-s season to come. The survey indicated that 69 percent of teens aged 13 to 17 said they buy more clothes now than they did last year, compared with 26 percent who said they buy less. Over the next six months, more than half said they will spend the same amount on clothes as they did during the first half of the year. Only 13 percent plan to spend less.
"Teens will always find ways to buy what they want," Chen said. "She will eat Ramen all month so that she can afford that new bag. And there are still plenty of teens who will go back-to-school shopping with mom, which pretty much guarantees new clothes."
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye