Teen spending increased 156 percent on Black Friday, driven by a 40 percent increase in the number of teens spending, and an 85 percent increase in the average amount spent per teen.

While Americans spent a reported $5 billion on Black Friday and eclipsed $6.6 in spending on Cyber Monday 2017, U.S. teens joined the Friday fray -- spending heavily on Black Friday -- but largely passed on Cyber Monday deals, according to the financial technology company Current, which makes a debit card and app for teens.

Teen spending increased 156 percent on Black Friday, driven by a 40 percent increase in the number of teens spending, and an 85 percent increase in the average amount spent per teen when compared to the prior 30-day average.

“For American teens Black Friday was as much an event as it was a day of discounts, which is why you didn’t see large participation from teens Thanksgiving evening or on Cyber Monday,” said Current founder and CEO Stuart Sopp. “They saved their money explicitly for Black Friday and then went to the mall with family and friends to shop, socialize and eat food.”

Teens Saved During the Month of November for Black Friday
The Current app has a feature that allows teens to set and label a saving goal and see their progress toward it over time. Of the teens that set a goal in November, 18 percent labelled it either "Black Friday" or "Holiday Shopping."

Teens Skipped Late Night Store Hours and Shopped Online on Thanksgiving
Teens looked for early deals on Thursday night online instead of in-store, with 38 percent of all teen purchases happening online. That figure is double the rate that teens typically shop online, 19 percent, and four times the typical rate for adults.

Teens Flocked to Stores on Black Friday
American teens undoubtedly took part in Black Friday, making it easily the biggest spending teen spending day since Current launched its teen debit card business in May 2017.

Teens shifted their spending to the mall on Friday, as online shopping decreased from the high on Thursday evening to 20 percent of all purchases, in line with teen norms.

  • Black Friday hype lured more teens out to shop, with 40 percent more teens making a transaction than did on average over the prior 30 days.**
  • The average spent per teen for the day increased 85 percent, from $18.02 to $33.35.
  • With more teens out shopping, and each teen spending more, the total amount spent by teens as a group surged 156 percent higher than the average over the prior 30 days.
  • Teen spending on food dropped from an average of around 40 percent to only 14 percent of spending for the day.
  • Clothing stores captured 44.7 percent of teen retail spending, followed by department stores (21.8%), cosmetics (9.9%), sporting goods (3.0%), video games (2.8%) and discount stores (2.1%).
  • Victoria’s Secret dominated the clothing category, capturing 16.5 percent of teen spending, followed by: American Eagle (7.2%), Abercrombie & Fitch (6.9%), Champs (5.5%), H&M (5.1%), Forever 21 (4.8%), PacSun (4.6%), Hot Topic (3.3%), Urban Outfitters (2.7%) and Charlotte Russe (2.6%).
  • Retail captured two-thirds of teen online spending (62.5%), followed by video games (26%) and streaming media and apps (11.5%).
  • Amazon captured nearly half of online retail spending (48.8%), followed by:
  • Supreme New York (9.4%), Zumiez (8.9%), Zara (7.7%), Victoria's Secret (6.2%) and Wish.com (6.2%).**

Limited Teen Participation in Cyber Monday
Teen participation in Cyber Monday was subdued. Online purchases only captured one-third of all teen spending, and offline spending on retail accounted for only 44 percent, compared to 56 percent for food, transportation and entertainment combined. With shopping hours limited by the school day, and much of their disposable income spent the week prior, Cyber Monday was just an average day for teens. With teens already more likely to shop online than adults, they may not feel the need for a special day to go online for good deals, they do that every day.

  • Cyber Monday saw a 9 percent uptick in the number of teens spending, but the average spent per teen dropped 5 percent from the average over the prior 30 days.
  • One-third of all teens purchases on Cyber Monday were made online, higher than a typical day but lower than on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Online spending went to retail (59%), video games (26%), and streaming media and apps (15%).
  • Offline spending went to retail (49%), food (40%), and transportation (9%).