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Survey: Teen Shoppers Concerned About Shortages of Gift Items This Holiday Season

Junior Achievement Research Also Indicates Teens See Higher Prices, Less Help at Stores

(Moline, IL) – A new survey of teens conducted for Junior Achievement by the research firm ENGINE Insights shows that most teens (55%) are concerned that global supply chain issues will result in shortages of gift items this holiday season. The results are part of the JA Teens & Holiday Spending survey, which assesses teen consumer attitudes associated with the holiday shopping season. The survey of 1,006 13- to 17-year-olds was conducted by ENGINE Insights from October 19 through 24, 2021.

Additional findings include:

  • 75% of teens have noticed changes during recent shopping experiences, including higher prices (49%), harder to find items (47%), and fewer checkers/less help at stores (32%)
  • 81% of teens plan to shop “in-store” this year, compared to 68% last year (due to pandemic restrictions), with 70% also shopping online
  • 78% of teens plan to spend “the same” or “more” on gifts this holiday season
  • Top teen gift ideas include clothing (61%), video games (53%), gift cards (52%), accessories (42%), and small electronics (38%)

“For many teens, shopping for others during the holiday season is their first exposure to some of the economic realities, such as rising prices or shortages, that face their parents or caregivers,” said JA of the Heartland President & CEO, Dougal Nelson. “In many ways, this can be a teachable moment. At Junior Achievement, we encourage parents and caregivers to take this opportunity to discuss things like putting together a budget for the holidays, comparison shopping, and creative gifting if higher prices or hard-to-find items become a challenge.”

Junior Achievement recently launched JA Connect, a new online resource where teens can learn about careers, entrepreneurship, and how to manage money. The “My Money” section takes teens through developing a budget and planning their financial future. JA Connect is available at www.connect.JA.org.


This Youth CARAVAN survey was conducted by ENGINE INSIGHTS among a sample of 1,006 13-17-year-olds. This survey was live on October 19-24, 2021.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls.  All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. It is nationally representative with set quotas based on census data. The 1,006 completes are all who qualified and completed based on the demographic quota requirements. The MoE is +/- 3.1%.


About Junior Achievement of the Heartland

Junior Achievement is dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.

Locally, Junior Achievement of the Heartland serves 24 counties in eastern Iowa, western Illinois and Grant County in Wisconsin. Visit www.jaheartland.org for more information.

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