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Gift ideas for teens



Despite pandemic, teens still want stuff

Despite pandemic, teens still want stuff


“Those teenagers live in a different world!”

I’ve said that, you’ve said it, we’ve all said it. Eight months into the Covid-19 pandemic, with the holidays on the horizon, it still seems to hold true with regard to spending habits. Most folks I know have been cutting back, saving, hoarding, and going without. Teens, not so much.

While scratching our heads about this, we can look to Teresa Rivas’ recent eye-opening article in Barron’s for gift ideas for the kids (and ourselves). Because even though 35% fewer kids than last year have a part time job, and spending among teens is down 9% in 2020, they’re still buying specific brands they love, still shopping both retail and online. Some brands seem quite invincible.

It’s encouraging in a way. The pandemic has wrought havoc on many aspects of people’s lives – I’m sure you have a list, as do I – but the fact that it has not significantly dissuaded teens from spending money elicits an oddly hopeful feeling.  

About those resilient companies: Nike is the titan of all “athleisure” brands. (I own two pair of Nike running shoes, by the way. Gifts, and from a thrift store, but still…) According to Rivas, the brand “retained its spot as the No. 1 apparel brand for a decade straight. It even extended its lead over rivals, gobbling up a market share of 27%, 4 percentage points more than a year earlier.”

READ MORE: Finances: What They Don’t Teach in School

Other brands untouched by the pandemic are lululemon (LULU), especially for teen girls, but also moms. The Canadian-based athleisure company is far and away the number one spot for leggings.

Rivas writes that a Tik Tok presence has helped cosmetics company e.l.f. Beauty (ELF) reach the No. 2 spot for makeup among all teens, up from No. 4 last year, an all-time high. She notes that the retailer Ulta Beauty (ULTA) overtook Sephora as the number one beauty supplier for cosmetics.

Much about the upcoming holiday season remains unknowable, but one thing is for sure: despite setbacks, teens know what they want for gift season 2021 and beyond.



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