Girls age two to 14 are spending more time this year on entertainment related activities than they did in 2007, with more than half saying they spend more time using CE devices, and playing PC games and video games, according to Girl Power: Understanding This Important Consumer Segment, the most recent report from The NPD Group. The new report, which provides insight into how girls ages 2 to 14 spend their time in a typical week, also delves into what they and their moms are buying for them, as well as the categories that engage them the most.  It uncovers what categories are poised for growth as girls continue spend time and money on traditional toys and games, but are broadening their engagement with and spending on categories such as apparel, consumer electronics, books, music, movies, and video games.  “Some very traditional play patterns still are the most popular among girls, even in this digital age,” said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group.  “Over 50 percent of girls ages 2-14 engage with dolls, plush, and arts & crafts in a given week which is a testament to the evergreen nature of these types of activities for girls.”  According to the report, tweens (age 9-12) are migrating to computer and video games, especially virtual world online games.  Socialization is gearing up among the pre-teens, and the advent of interactive gaming really hits home with these girls who are looking for friends from the confines of their homes.  Young Teens (age 13-14) are also gamers, but many girls this age are also now listening to music on portable digital music players and talking/texting on their mobile phones.   “Girls, in general, are famously social creatures,” said Frazier.  “The growth in use of social networking and virtual world websites by girls is a natural extension of this core value which needs to be recognized by manufacturers who count girls as primary market for their goods and services.”  But not all activities are as age-specific as consumer electronics and video games.  When looking at spending penetration, Fashion Apparel & Accessories, and Books, Music & Videos are the top two categories that maintain a high level of popularity across all age groups, and appear to be insulated from the age-factor.  In terms of favorite gifts, gift cards are the top choice for most girls, with gift cards being purchased 50 percent of the time, though toys are often given to younger girls and apparel to older girls.

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