Shopping and social events could be getting a shake-up in Donegal after teenagers’ views were brought to light in a new report.

The newly-launched Reveal The Teen report by three students has shown that young people across the county are calling out for local businesses to bring in events and promotions to cater to their market.

Evelyn, Shannon, Claire, Joanna and Toni Forrester at the launch of the Reveal the Teen report

The views were expressed by Donegal teenagers in the recent survey carried out by Loreto Convent Transition Year students Joanna McMonagle and Claire Mc Gettigan, which were presented in graphics by Shannon Thackrah, a third year Digital Marketing student at IT Sligo.

This market research project came about as Donegal business consultant Evelyn Mc Marketing accepted the three work place students from January to May 2017 and devised the project so that the group could work on one overall project together.

The research brand Reveal The Teen was set up to discover what Donegal teenagers buy, how they interact and how they spend their free time. Through uncovering information specific to local teens, the project is giving businesses a unique insight into the lives of their young customers.

Teenagers’ attitudes to money, shopping, clothes, beauty, online, free time and their thoughts on Donegal were gathered via a survey and a focus group to provide a comprehensive report which was released last week.

Teenagers of Donegal were given a chance to tell businesses what they like, what annoyed them and what they want to see changed.

Young spenders

The project was also supported by Toni Forrester of the Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce/Shop LK. In light of the results, Evelyn Mc Marketing and Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce are now planning to run a Reveal The Teen shopping campaign this May.

“We are going to be encouraging young people to shop locally with a week long campaign in Letterkenny with events for teenagers. This will be happening on the same week as Trash ‘N’ Fashion 2017,” said Joanna Mc Monagle.

Claire Mc Gettigan and Joanna McMonagle

The Reveal the Teen team are inviting all businesses to get involved and show what they can do to bring more teenagers through their doors.

Reveal the Teen’s analysis of the social scene of Donegal unearthed a distinct lack of events for Donegal teens.

The surveyed group, which is at the transition age between teenage discos and overage nightclubs, say that they need entertaining events to be more available to them.

There’s a lot to love about Donegal, and teens appreciate the natural highlights, the sports available and the general atmosphere. Facilities like the cinema and eateries are the top attractions for young people in Donegal. However, the lack of places to socialise and the lack of transport are top of the list of dislikes in the county.

The number of teens going to youth clubs was low, with just 11% saying that they were involved in local community groups.

Get Social

In light of the report, Reveal The Teen have shown businesses that there is a gap in the market for them to organise a teen social event.

We all know that young people are social, and this was proven even more in a business sense as they revealed how their purchases are influenced by others. They said that social media influences them the most when they are buying clothes and 87% of them said they ask for their friends’ opinions before they make a purchase.

Snapchat reigns as the most popular form of online communication, followed by Facebook and Instagram. Local businesses will be taking note that teenagers prefer to shop online because of the variety of products, brands and discounts available to them.

Money wise

Reveal The Teen Summer business workshops could also be in the pipeline to help educate teens on business, leadership skills and financial know how.

Young people were found to be savvy savers, with 89% of teens saving money regularly. Some 89% of teens have part time jobs, and where they spend that income is worth noting by local retailers.

Retailers: Take note

The main lesson in this report for retailers was the need to educate and encourage teens to shop local with student discounts for second level, not just third, and to promote easy returns policies. It was revealed that only 36% of teenagers return clothes that don’t suit and online returns are seen to be a ‘hassle’.

“Business now know what they need to do to get teenagers to shop with them. They need to have student discounts, because how well they work in the local businesses that do have them,” said Claire Mc Gettigan.

The findings of this report have the potential to bring about improvements to the social and retail options for young people in Donegal and, in turn, bring better profits to local businesses. For students Claire, Joanna and Shannon, this has been a unique chance for them to bring their business and research skills together into an influential brand that has become well-known in Donegal and online.

“We set out to give teenagers a voice and we are delighted it was a success and the report is being so widely read. We can’t wait to see what happens next,” said Claire.

You can read the full report online here on