Today, teenagers are more excited by new high-tech gadget rather than stylish and branded apparels.
In an article, the New York Times reported that while last season's clothes may not preferred by some teenagers, an outdated smart-phone was a definite no-no.
It seems like the teenagers of today prefer to "stay connected" than shopping, as a lot of youngsters said that phone kept them much more amused as they could talk, do "cool stuff" and even discuss new trends with friends among other things.
Popular teen brands like Hollister and American Eagle Outfitters no longer had the assured 'what's cool' spot in the marketplace, as the social status these days involved flaunting the latest in hand-held technology.
While Olivia D'Amico, a 16-year-old from New York, said that she didn't consider clothes that important or cared to buy any brands, young shoppers also pointed out the use of phones in e-commerce, as Caitlin Haywood, 15, said that one could also shop for clothes online from their phones.
Haywood, who's a fan of the Hollister store's "California style," also noted that she owned many decorative coverings so that she could accessorize her phone, calling them the "fashion statement."
The retailing sector of teenage apparel, whose sales report about 15 percent of all apparel sales, according to the NPD Group, has been suffering as sales had declined over the last several quarters. Apart from the attention given to tech items, some longstanding retailers have been hard hit by competition from fast-fashion stores like Forever 21 and HandM, which offer up-to-the-minute trends at low prices.
Online shopping had also reduced mall traffic among teenage consumers, and the popularity of Instagram whips fads around so quickly that teenagers are not chasing one enduring fashion item.
Stephanie Wissink, a managing director at Piper Jaffray, said that after several years of strong growth, the percentage of money that teenagers spent on electronics seemed to have stabilized at around 8 or 9 percent.
Jaffray's semiannual survey of teenagers in the spring also found that they spent more money on food than any other category, which was basically because of the availability of free Wi-Fi in the restaurants.
Retailers across a range of categories are now trying to adapt to the back-to-school season that has shifted significantly in recent years.