NEW YORK — Teenagers can give grown-ups fits, and this fall the kids are being especially recalcitrant toward their elders in the apparel business. According to the latest iteration of the “Taking Stock With Teens” study, conducted by Minneapolis-based investment firm Piper Jaffray, young men are spending less on fashion now than they have at any point in the last seven years, with the average male respondent copping to a measly $692 in fashion expenditures for fall 2007. Piper Jaffray’s analyst team blames a maturing product cycle, but points to strength among West Coast brands as a bright spot in its male-specific data.
The fall ’07 study is the firm’s 14th consecutive semiannual assessment of teen spending, and it indicates that teens of both genders are generally less willing to splurge on fashion (consisting of apparel, accessories and footwear). The $692 spending figure for young men is, so far, the nadir of a downturn in seasonal spending, which four years ago was significantly higher, at $1,534 per male high-school student. (The average age of teens surveyed was 16.6 years.) The analysts emphasize that their sample is a relatively affluent one, consisting of mostly suburban teens whose average household income is over $70,000 per year.
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