The Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University is out with a shocking report on the unemployment rate of teenagers.
A study by the group found that the percentage of teens that were employed dropped 19 percentage points to 26% during the period from 2000 to 2011. Some analysts think the rate is actually even lower today.
One group that might not be shocked by the apparent cash-strapped nature of teenagers is apparel retailers. Firms up and down the sector have been rocked by weak traffic trends that are tied to more than winter weather.
Specialty retail categories are where e-commerce has had the strongest impact on brick-and-mortar stores, concludes Re/code after scanning sales charts.
While food and healthcare categories show lower e-commerce penetration as consumers only slowly pivot away from their traditional buying habits - retailers that sell clothing (EXPR, RUE, ZUMZ, PSUN, AEO, CACH, BODY, CHS, CWTR, NWY, BEBE, ANN, CBK) , sporting goods (HIBB, CAB, BGFV), and electronics (BBY, RSH) continue to lose market share to online sellers at an astonishing pace that shows little signs of slowing down.
Demographics aren't working in the favor of the trend reversing itself either as more teens show a tendency to favor online upstarts such as Nasty Gal or Stitch Fix over former mall rat favorites like Gap (GPS), Aeropostale (ARO) or Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF). The younger set is also attuned to deal-shopping and buying used products online which are margin killers in the electronics category.
Re/code sees at least two companies that don't mind the e-commerce evolution: FedEx (FDX) and UPS (UPS) could get busier and busier.
Warnings on slow store traffic at retailers are being heard far and wide from analysts as more channel checks disappoint.
Ground zero for promotional activity in the sector appears to be mall-based apparel sellers which are throwing "shocking" deals at consumers to stoke sales and clear inventory.
Weather has been a factor, but forward-looking insiders also see a paradigm shift. Consumers enabled with mobile devices have taken a hatchet to the amount of their holiday season impulse buying which typically helps retailers drive margins higher on select items at stores.
Cache Inc is a mall-based specialty retailer of lifestyle sportswear and dresses targeting style-conscious women. The Company operates 250 women's apparel specialty stores situated in central locations in high-traffic, upscale malls.