Aug. 8 - Forget the free spending teens of the past- retailers have to sell to today's post-recession teens- who are watching both their parents’ money and their own. Bobbi Rebell reports.
The music may be pumping at teen retailers but sales are slumping. Just this week- both Aeropostale and American Eagle warning sales will not make the grade. That's largely because post-economic recession teens have a very different attitude towards spending compared to the mall centered teens of the past, explains Wendy Liebmann of WSL Strategic Retail: SOUNDBITE: WENDY LIEBMANN, CEO, WSL STRATEGIC RETAIL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Do they want- yes I want a phone. Yes I want some kind of technology. Yes I want a great pair of sneakers or shoes or whatever. But they have grown up where their parents have struggled. There are very few of them who have lived in a world where they can just say: I want, I want, I want." Teens also face their own economic troubles- teen unemployment was almost 24 percent in June. REPORTER BRIDGE: BOBBI REBELL, REUTERS REPORTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Here at American Eagle Outfitters back to school is all about denim and discounts- they are very tuned in to the price conscious consumer- all their jeans priced under $30." But that's a popular strategy this season- and standing out from the crowd is tough for everyone. Not only do they have peer pressure- notoriously fickle teens shop everywhere- from department stores to fast fashion chains like H&M and Zara. SOUNDBITE: WENDY LIEBMANN, CEO, WSL STRATEGIC RETAIL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "When you look around at what some of the teen retailers are offering in terms of clothing particularly today there is not anything that is really stunning different whatever. We got past color denim, we got past cargo shorts, we got past you know add to the list. There is not a ton of things that feel different or new and I think that's another really big issue if you want kids to - or their parents to come and spend some more money." The good news- Liebmann says the majority of back to school shoppers will spend at least what they spent last year- so there is time for these retailers to get some extra credit before their next report card.