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  • Piper Sandler released its “Taking Stock with Teens” survey for the fall of 2022.
  • The survey found a shift toward discount retailers among upper-income teens. 
  • The results also saw female teens leading a spike in spending year-over-year. 

Gen Z is spending slightly more across the board in 2022 as wealthier teens turn to discount shops, according to Piper Sandler’s latest “Taking Stock with Teens” survey

The firm’s 44th semi-annual report is based on a sample of 14,500 US teens surveyed from August 21 to September 23, 2022. Piper Sandler’s teen spending survey project first kicked off in 2001, and has amassed over 56.5 million data points across the years. The survey discovered that “self-reported” spending for teens jumped 3% over year, although it dropped 2% from spring 2022. 

The survey delved into the brands and spending trends beloved by the Gen Z cohort. Over 39% of respondents work a part-time job to earn extra cash, up slightly from last year.

Here are some highlights from the latest report:

Not all the goods purchased were new.

Secondhand shopping occupies 7% of teens’ shopping time.Piper Sandler found that nearly half – 47% have purchased items secondhand and 58 percent have sold goods in the secondhand market.

Females ‘led the increase in teen spending.’ 

Piper Sandler

Piper Sandler found that teen spending is up 3% year-over-year

Courtesy of Piper Sandler

Female teens reported a year-over-year spending increase of 10%.

Skincare was the biggest category for beauty spending.

Piper Sandler

Beauty spending has increased among teens.

Courtesy of Piper Sandler

Cosmetics was a close second, followed by hair care.  The percentage of teens who report wearing makeup every day rose to 41 percent, from 33 percent. 

In the realm of dining, chicken rules.

18% of respondents said their favorite spot was Chick-Fil-A. Starbucks trailed just behind at 17%, with Chipotle rounding out the top three at 13%.

As for e-commerce, 52% of survey participants said they favored Amazon.

Next on their list were Shein, Nike, Lululemon, and PacSun.

In terms of social media platforms, TikTok soared with a 38% share.

piper sandler

Teens prefer TikTok.

Courtesy of Piper Sandler

Snapchat and Instagram came in at No. 2 and 3.

Upper-income, lower prices.

Upper-income males spent the most on food; female teens, on the other hand, spent the most on clothing. Upper-income teens have also pivoted toward discount shopping.

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