Teens aren’t frequenting malls as much as they used to, putting retailers like American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Aeropostale in trouble.
Teens are visiting the mall 28 times per year, down about 30% from the peak in 2007, according to a recent report by Piper Jaffray.
This “mindset change in shopping” is probably permanent, according to the report.
There are a few reasons why teens aren’t hanging out at malls, according to the report:
1. Teens are browsing their mobile devices to find new products. This makes them less likely to be excited by mall offerings.
2. Young people are only buying clothing when there is a real or perceived need for it. Forget impulse purchases made during a trip to the mall.
3. Teens don’t need the mall for entertainment. Social networks make teens feel connected to one another without actually hanging out.
These trends are troubling for teen retailers.
Still, the stores aren’t doing all they can to attract young customers, according to the report.
Retailers can attract teen customers by engaging more on mobile sites and social networks. They also need to work to differentiate their products so teens have an incentive to go there.
Here’s a chart showing how mall visits by teens have declined since 2007:
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