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January 4, 2011

Tech-savvy teens still flock to malls

Only 6 percent planned to do bulk of holiday shopping online

Teens were still flocking to the malls for holiday shopping despite most (61%) teens confessing to using the internet several times a day, according to a new Ipsos Public Affairs poll conducted via its newly formed teen omnibus.

The vast majority (61%) of teens said they would do the bulk of their holiday shopping in stores as opposed to online, while a very small proportion (6%) claimed they’d do the majority of their shopping online and not in-person. Nearly two in ten (16%) struck a balance, splitting up their shopping half-and-half between online and in-store.

Teens loitering at malls have long been the ire of adults and retailers alike, and it looks like that’s not about to change. While most (61%) teens can be classified as online super-users – defined as accessing the internet at least several times a day – they are not as embracing of online shopping as one might expect such a tech-savvy generation to be. And it’s not a lack of currency holding them back: nearly one half (46%) of teens, including a majority of those aged 16 and 17, have access to at least a checking/savings account, debit or credit card, or a pay-pal account.

According to Wade Valainis, a Senior Research Manager at Ipsos, “The mall has long been a gathering place for teens. Despite the proliferation of many other ways to communicate and socialize, this research shows teens aren’t just sitting in their rooms or basements texting each other. A lot may have changed in the past decade but teens are still wired to socialize in person and the mall is as good a place now as it used to be to get together”.

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