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COVID-19 Teen Spending & Shopping Behavior Insights


Piper Sandler Companies (NYSE: PIPR), a leading investment bank and institutional securities firm, completed its 40th semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens® survey in partnership with DECA. This survey highlights discretionary spending trends and brand preferences from 9,800 teens across 48 U.S. states with an average age of 15.8 years. Generation Z, which contributes approximately $830 billion to U.S. retail sales annually*, represents an influential consumer group where wallet size and allocation provide a proxy for category interest.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Piper Sandler TSWT Fall 2020 infographic (Graphic: Business Wire)

Piper Sandler TSWT Fall 2020 infographic (Graphic: Business Wire)

This year’s Fall 2020 survey was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was conducted from August 19 to September 22; 76% of teens have returned to school in either a hybrid format or fully virtual this Fall. We received the highest amount of responses from the South at 42% of the mix and 10% of the responses from the Northeast—similar to Spring 2020.

For the survey infographic and more information, visit

“Our Fall survey gave rise to some fascinating takeaways as consumers are adjusting to a new normal—47% of students came back to school virtually this year and another 29% of our respondents are back-in-school in a hybrid format. While we are not surprised that overall teen spending was down again given the economic backdrop, we are seeing wallet share priorities change including increased share for video games & furniture/room accessories and decreased share for food & concerts/events.

“TikTok, now the No. 2 preferred social media platform behind Snapchat, is fuelling brands like e.l.f. & CeraVe which both hit new survey highs while trends like “5-inch shorts” are on the rise among males. Pinterest also gained share among teens as they look for creative outlets & DIY trends to spend their time. SHEIN made notable gains in our survey as a preferred apparel brand & website.

“One distinguishing feature of GenZ is that they are a generation that cares about social justice. Racial Equality/Black Lives Matter and the Environment are their top current issues. With Environment at the forefront of their minds, we are seeing an uptick of teens “thrifting” or shopping secondhand. We believe this will be a very important trend to watch in the future,” said Erinn Murphy, Piper Sandler senior research analyst.

Fall 2020 Key Findings

Spending & Shopping Behavior

Brand Preferences

The Piper Sandler Taking Stock With Teens® survey is a semi-annual research project that gathers input from 9,800 teens with an average age of 15.8 years. Discretionary spending patterns, fashion trends, technology, and brand and media preferences are assessed through surveying a geographically diverse subset of high schools across the U.S. Since the project began in 2001, Piper Sandler has surveyed more than 194,800 teens and collected over 48.2 million data points on teen spending.

* Source: Fung Global Retail & Technology


Piper Sandler Companies (NYSE: PIPR) is a leading investment bank and institutional securities firm driven to help clients Realize the Power of Partnership®. Securities brokerage and investment banking services are offered in the U.S. through Piper Sandler & Co., member SIPC and NYSE; in Europe through Piper Sandler Ltd., authorized and regulated by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority; and in Hong Kong through Piper Sandler Hong Kong Limited, authorized and regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission. Asset management products and services are offered through separate investment advisory affiliates.

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Pamela Steensland
Tel: 612 303-8185

Source: Piper Sandler Companies