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Black Friday Survey: Majority of Teens Plan to Shop at Brick-and-Mortar Stores this Holiday Season, Despite Changing Retail Landscape

Junior Achievement Survey Shows Teens Looking to More Traditional Venues for Holiday Shopping

While much has been made about the growth of online shopping and the impact on traditional retail, a new survey from Junior Achievement USA (JA) shows that a majority of teens (54%) plan to do much of their shopping at brick-and-mortar discount stores like Walmart and Target this holiday season. Less than half of teens (46%) said that they would be doing much of their shopping online, while about a third (35%) planned to head out to the shopping malls. These findings are essentially unchanged from a similar survey conducted by JA in 2017. The survey of 1,004 teens was conducted in late October and early November by ORC International for JA.

“Many young people have their first shopping experience during the holidays,” said Ashley Charest, President, JA of Kansas. “This provides an opportunity for teens to begin learning how to work within a budget and make financially informed decisions. It also creates a moment when parents can talk to their kids about managing money as part of day-to-day conversation.”

The largest percentage of teens (42%) expects to spend less than $100 on holiday gifts, while about a fifth anticipate spending between $100 and $200 (21%). Far fewer (13%) think they will spend more than $200 on gifts. About a quarter (26%) either don’t know what they will spend or don’t anticipate buying presents.

The top gift idea is clothing (54%), followed by gift cards (48%), video games (39%), accessories, such as hats and shoes (37%), small electronics (30%), jewelry (28%), toys (27%), music (23%), and sporting goods/apparel (17%).


This report presents the findings of a Youth CARAVAN survey conducted among a sample of 1,004 13-17 year olds, comprising of 502 males and 502 females.  This survey was live on October 30-November 4, 2018.                                                                                                                           

Respondents for this survey are selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls.  Because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated.  All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options.