95% of Teen Shoppers Notice Mall Ads

June 10, 2009

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | CPG & FMCG | Media & Entertainment | Out-of-Home | Retail & E-Commerce | Youth & Gen X

Nearly all (95%) teen shoppers (ages 12-17) in the US who have visited a mall in the past 30 days say they notice some type of mall advertising, according to (pdf) recent research from Arbitron and Scarborough Research. These teens also spend significant amounts of time and money in the mall and are feeling the pinch of the current economic crisis.

The “Scarborough/Arbitron Teen Mall Shopper Insights” white paper examined seven types of mall advertising and found very high awareness levels for many of them, particularly poster display ads and hanging banners:

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Teen Shoppers Spend Time & Money at Mall

On a typical visit, 68% of teens spend two or more hours at the mall, with more than a quarter (28%) spending upwards of three hours, the study found.

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In terms of money spent, more than half of teens (56%) spent $50 or more on their last visit, while 29% spent $100 or more.

While they are at the mall, teens are engaging in a wide variety of activities, which fall into four broad categories: Shopping, eating, socializing and entertainment:

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Teen Mall Shoppers Feel Economic Pain

The teen mall study white paper also draws on data from a separate study to address the effect of the current economy on teen mall shopping behaviors and attitudes. Though a majority of teen mall shoppers go to the mall the same amount or more than they visited six months ago, many are indeed aware of and concerned about the economy and many have changed their thinking and/or behavior related to shopping:

  • 77% are concerned about how the economy will affect their families’ future.
  • 66% pay attention to advertising that features items for sale at the mall.
  • 75% say discounts on mall-purchased items are more important to them than they used to be.
  • 37% of teen mall shoppers say they go to the mall less often than they did six months ago, and 62% say their frequency of visiting malls has increased or stayed the same.
  • 54% say they have spent more or about the same amount of money on a typical visit to the mall then they did six months ago.

“The findings show that teens do in fact notice advertising in the mall, and our study shows that they generally rate it positively,” said Jane Traub, SVP of research for Scarborough. “Hollywood has long portrayed the mall as a key center of teen culture. Our data shows that it still serves a very prominent role in teen society. It seems some preferences are established early in the consumer life cycle and continue as the person moves into older demographic groups.”

The research also uncovers some significant differences between older and younger teen age groups, and between male and female teen mall shoppers.

About the research: The white paper is based on two national surveys of teen mall shoppers (ages 12-17) by Scarborough Research and Arbitron Inc. The first survey questioned 1,687 teens across the US between October 2008 and January 2009. A supplemental survey on teen spending at the mall was fielded in April of 2009.

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