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CDC urges avoidance of in-store holiday shopping, but will teenagers listen?

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is calling on Americans to avoid in-store holiday season shopping, but it appears that many teenagers will not give up the brick-and-mortar shopping experience.

holiday shoppingIn a blog post offering advice on how to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday weekend amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the CDC offered advice that included such tips as “shop online sales the day after Thanksgiving and days leading up to the winter holidays”; “use contactless services for purchased items, like curbside pick-up”; and “shop in open air markets staying 6 feet away from others and wear a mask.”

However, the CDC’s tips are being ignored by the nation’s teenagers. A new survey by Junior Achievement of roughly 1,000 17-year-olds found 68% of respondents planning to holiday shopping excursions at malls, discount stores, electronics stores and local independent retailers.

The top gift ideas for these young consumers are clothing (55%), gift cards (45%), accessories including as hats and shoes (44%), video games (43%), small electronics (30%), toys (29%), jewelry (28%), sporting goods/apparel (17%), and music (14%).

But that’s not to say teenagers are ignoring e-commerce: 65% of the youthful respondents also expected to do some of their holiday shopping online, with 10% planning to give digitally-based items including gift card codes, downloadable music, and games.

Nonetheless, teenagers have more confidence with in-store retailing than their elders. A CommerceHub survey from earlier this week found 83% of adult respondents planning to do more than half of their holiday shopping online this year, compared with 59% of consumers polled in a similar survey conducted last year.

As for adults going into stores, 81% of CommerceHub respondents said they were more likely to shop in person at a store that requires customers to wear a mask this holiday season.

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