Teens Turn to Thrift as Apparel Prices go Up


Another like-minded friend of ours turned us on to this Article in the Associated Press about Teens Turning to Thrift as Jobs Vanish and Prices Rise. The Article was written by ANNE D’INNOCENZIO, with contributions from Writers Lisa Cornwell and Marcus Kabel of the Associated Press. It touched on the subject of kids having to turn to thrift shopping and DYI projects to adjust to the flailing economy. You can view the article in its entirety at Yahoo Business News.

The Article states that, "The souring job market and rising costs of the usual teenage indulgences a slice of pizza, a drive to the mall, the hottest new jeans are causing teens to do something they rarely do: be thrifty.

It’s a far cry from the freewheeling spending of recent years, when teens splurged on $100 Coach wristlet handbags, $60 Juicy Couture
T-shirts and $80 skinny jeans from Abercrombie & Fitch.

Now jobs for teens are less plentiful, and parents who supply the allowances are feeling the economic pinch themselves.

The stalwart retailers of teen apparel, such as Abercrombie and American Eagle Outfitters Inc., are reporting sluggish sales, defying the myth that teen spending is recession-proof: It holds up longer, but can eventually fold.

It’s even becoming cool to be frugal.

Last week, Ellegirl.com, the teen offshoot of Elle magazine, launched a new video fixture called Self-Made Girl, which shows teens how to make clothes and accessories. The first video offers tips on how to create a prom clutch.

“It’s a little tacky in the economic unrest to tote a big logo bag,” said Holly Siegel, the site’s senior editor. She said it’s no longer about teens “one-upping each other,” but rather where they can get it cheap.

Teen hiring has slumped by 5 percent since March 2007, with many mom-and-pop stores, which typically hire younger workers, laying off employees. Hiring in the overall job market fell by just 0.1 percent during the same period.

That’s still not as bad as the 13 percent drop in teen hiring in the early 1990s. That means that if the larger job market mirrors the last teen hiring slump, “we’re not out of the woods,” said Michael P. Niemira, chief economist at the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Secondhand clothing chains have seen business surge this year as teens and their parents buy popular brands like Gap, Banana Republic and Juicy Couture at a fraction of the regular price.

“It is way cooler to get a super deal on that shirt rather than being able to spend the most money on something,” said Anna D’Agrosa, director of Consumer Insights at The Zandl Group, a market research company focusing on teens. “Kids are becoming really aware of what is happening to their economy and to their families.”

Perhaps something good can come out of this, that will stick with he teens in to their adult life.


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