Tracking Teen Shopping Habits
Sixty-one teenagers from across the Washington region descended upon Tysons Corner on a recent Saturday. And we were there to capture it all.
We wanted to learn how today's teens make their purchasing decisions, how they calculate value and how they figure out what's cool. These teenage volunteers, all between seventh and 11th grade, brought their own money, friends and sense of style. Some came with their parents; some with their parents' credit card. But all of them brought strong opinions about what they like — and what they don't.
More than a dozen Washington Post and washingtonpost.com staff members documented the shopping expedition through stories, photographs, audio and video. We gained insight into teen consumer psychology and the latest trends, but we also learned a lot about the teenagers themselves.
They agonize over price. They're thoughtful, not impulsive. They arrive at the mall with information and purpose. They actually care about what their parents would think about those micro shorts. They are teenage girls, and this is how they shop. Read full story
- Drool Now, Spend Later (Monday, June 4, 2007)
- That Denim's Looking a Little Worn (Monday, June 4, 2007)
- When Mom's Not Paying, Cost Is a Deal-Breaker (Monday, June 4, 2007)
- On a Mission to Buy, With a Plan of Attack (Monday, June 4, 2007)
- It's Not Just Parents Saying No Skimpy Styles (Monday, June 4, 2007)
- The Store They Love, or Love to Hate (Monday, June 4, 2007)
- Who's Who (Monday, June 4, 2007)
- 'Male' Doesn't Rhyme With 'Sale' (Tuesday, June 5, 2007)
Washington Post staff writer Ylan Q. Mui discussed teen shopping behavior on Monday, June 4 at Noon ET. She was joined by retail expert Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst from the NPD Group, and Donna Hamaker, a spokesperson for Bloomingdale's at Tysons Corner Center and White Flint Mall. Read the transcript
Click on stores at Tysons Corner Center for detailed information about where the teens shopped. View photos of the teens browsing, hear them discuss the latest fashions and watch video highlights. View map
Check out three galleries from Washington Post photographers of area teens spending an afternoon at Tysons Corner Center in McLean, browsing, shopping and discussing the latest fashions. See galleries
Teens today are savvy and price-conscious shoppers, and a coveted group among retailers eager to lure in their dollars. We gathered about 60 teens on a recent Saturday morning at Tysons Corner Center to track their shopping habits — and see what works for them, what doesn't and why. Watch video
Teen Shopper Profiles
Seven of these teens gave us detailed accounts of their shopping habits, including where they bought everything in their bedrooms to tracking their paths through the mall. They also recorded what they said about products and stores during the project. Learn more