Teens love spending time at the mall with all of its social and material attractions, and retailers certainly view teens as a lucrative market. Companies spend about $17 billion a year marketing to the millennial generation, which dwarfs spending targeting any previous generation (NDP Group 2010). The millennial kids that are in middle adolescence spend more time than any other age group shopping, and they typically shop without the presence of an adult decision maker (NDP Group 2010). The fact that they are bombarded with marketing messages coupled with the independence they have in decision making, has raised concerns about their ability to make considered decisions, to cope with persuasion and marketplace deception, and to shop with competence. Teens are able to express what they love and what they hate about shopping (e.g., Mallalieu 2001) but what do we really know about their interactions with retailers? The present research delves into the complex relationship between retailers and teens by exploring the thoughts and interactions of retailers and teens in a mall environment. Various aspects of retailer/teen interactions are explored, including shopping competence, persuasion detection, persuasion coping, and retailer and teen strategies for dealing with each other. Theoretical contributions are discussed and managerial strategies aimed at improving the quality of the interactions between retailers and teens are proposed.
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- Coping with Each Other: An Exploration of the Thoughts and Interactions of Retail Employees and Teen Shoppers Co-Existing at the Mall
Kay M. Palan