Teenage Advice for the Unhip Investor

The average investor is behind the curve when it comes to the fickle world of teenage retail and should listen to the shoppers of the future, according to Kelly Jane Robertson, the 16-year-old intern at The Investors Chronicle.


Robertson, the youngest contributor in the Chronicle's 150-year history, said most people that read the publication are "in their 50s and don't really know much about shopping."

One of the most striking findings from the teenage commentator is that the Internet is not king. Even though teens will often browse online to check out what certain shops have to offer, that may not be where the deal is done.

"People prefer going to stores rather than shopping on the Internet," Robertson said, citing her own survey. "I like browsing Web sites first and then going into the store to buy them."

Robertson pointed out that in the UK, less than 10 percent of all retail sales are made online. From her own survey, 87 percent of teenagers in London said they preferred going to shops.

Keeping up with the latest trends is key to retailers' success in the teenage market, she told CNBC. UK chains like Topshop and New Look get it right by having a quick stock turnover and capturing the latest trends, she said.

Brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister may have limited appeal because they don't move as fast, Robertson said.

(Watch the full interview with Kelly Jane Robertson above.)

"Shopping has changed from being a search for necessities to a world of 'disposable fashion' and a desire to get the latest trends, as soon as possible," Robertson wrote in the Chronicle.

"Not only do they need to keep up with the trends and what everyone else is wearing, but they need to have their own quirky and fresh style," she added.

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